Chain saw crews have cut down a small forest of trees from Sioux Falls boulevards since the April ice storm. So far, they've removed more than 800 trees considered too hazardous to remain standing. Many of those stately trees will be missed by families who've enjoyed their shade and beauty, for generations.
A locust tree has had a towering presence in the Terrace Park neighborhood for six decades. But it's survival has been undercut by too much damage from the spring ice storm.
"Anytime a tree goes down, I think it's sad, but we'll replace it," homeowner Matthew Douglas said.
The Douglas family's attachment to the tree is deeply-rooted.
"We wake up and the first thing I see is that tree right out out our bedroom window, so it's going to be a change. I'm sure we're going to have the shade down more often, that's for sure, to keep the house cool," Douglas said.
But in a matter of seconds, all that remains is a stump. As many as a thousand trees could fall in the storm's aftermath.
"It's a lot of trees. Sioux Falls has a lot of trees for a community of this size," Lance Weatherly of the Sioux Falls Public Works Department said.
While the downed trees may leave a void in many storm-damaged neighborhoods, the city has no immediate plans of replacing these landmarks.
"But it's something we can evaluate after this is completed. So right now, our focus is on addressing the hazardous limbs and trees within the right-of-way," Weatherly said.
Weatherly says the cost and care of replanting trees would be too much of a burden on the city. So it's up to homeowners like the Douglas' to get the boulevards bouncing back to life.
The trees will be ground-up into mulch at the drop-off site on Chambers Street. So beginning Monday, that site will be closed to the public. But you can still drop-off your branches at 69th and Cliff, as well as at the city landfill.