Pandemic supply chain snags pose thorny problem for Iowa tree planters

Scaled up shot of little family helper in garden

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(Ames, IA) -- Iowans hoping to replace the millions of derecho-damaged trees may find pandemic-related supply chain issues could get in the way. Iowa State University Horticulture Professor Jeff Iles says those hoping to find their preferred species of tree to plant this fall, may not find it right away. He says throughout the pandemic nursery stock has been impacted by supply chain issues, related to transportation.

He says supplies have been easing somewhat lately and garden centers are starting to report better luck getting stock.

Iles says when you are ready to plant, make sure you consider how tall the tree will grow, to avoid planting too close to a structure. He also says keep in mind softwood trees such as silver maple tend to grow faster, but are typically the first to be damaged by high winds. He also suggests those who plant a tree this fall, water it several times a week because of the drought conditions.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimates last year's derecho destroyed or damaged seven million trees. The storm August 10th, 2020 impacted 27-counties along Highway 30. The DNR estimates the damage to trees had a $20 million dollar impact on tree canopy benefits.

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