SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Weeks of cleanup followed last spring's ice storm and homeowners had hefty tree-removal bills to pay. Now that we're heading into fall, many are looking at replanting the trees they lost in the storm. But they're finding there's a shortage of some trees.
Like so many Sioux Falls homeowners, Sadye Beth Rupp lost a treasured tree and dozens and dozens of branches in last spring's ice storm. Now she's ready to replant.
"I want some privacy trees that grow to about 20 feet and then I would like a weeping willow," Rupp said.
But Rupp is having trouble finding what she wants.
"Major shortage; a lot of them are even sold out. It's been a struggle," Rupp said.
"We still have people coming in and looking for large sized trees. I think that stems from people just wanting; they cut down a 70 foot tree and now they don't want to put in a five foot tree to replace it. They want something a little bigger and to fill that space again," Laura Kalfs of Cliff Avenue Greenhouse said.
You'll still find a wide variety of smaller trees in pots, but those bigger trees; ones that are two to four inches in diameter around the trunk and 12-15 feet high are completely sold out here at Cliff Avenue Greenhouse.
"I've been looking everywhere. I haven't found any that are pretty grown to a height I feel comfortable with; so I'm facing a lot of container plants," Rupp said.
Cliff Avenue Greenhouse is also sold out of the most popular trees and the once most susceptible to ice damage, like Birch, Autumn Blaze Maple, Silver Maple, Willow and Ash.
"We did try to steer customers into something a little tougher; a little stronger," Kalfs said.
Cliff Avenue Greenhouse says it’s taking special orders for customers, who can't find what they want, so they can plant in the spring. But that means a delay for homeowners in getting:
"The immediate satisfaction of having a tree; it's pretty bare back there," Rupp said.
Kalfs says the trees she still has in stock are marked down as usual in the fall. And she says she doesn't expect prices to go up because her supply comes from a Twin Cities nursery, where the inventory wasn't affected by weather.
Cliff Avenue Greenhouse says this year it saw people coming in to buy up to five trees at once, rather than just one or two.
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