SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tree damage is prevalent across eastern KELOLAND following recent wind storms.
Thousands of trees have been lost in this month’s storms, some of which were over a century old. The most commonly impacted trees were spruce and pine, because they are the ones with the biggest canopies right now. There is also damage to elms and maples.
Jane Geerts saw lots of damage throughout her yard following Monday’s storms.
“With every flash of lightning you would see ‘ope the fence is down’ and then another part of the fence and then ‘is that our tree?,” said Jane Geerts, homeowner.
Arbor Master Tree Service says tree loss like this has been common and they have been busy helping customers.
“So far, we’ve been seeing a lot of trees uprooted, some twisted, just a lot of branches broken and hanging over on the power lines and some houses, some driveways,” said Slavic Volktrub, Arbor Master Tree Service.
Several of the trees lost throughout May have been around for decades and it will take a while for the landscape to return to the way it was.
“We probably won’t get a chance to enjoy those trees in our lifetime anymore, because if we plant new trees, its going to take 15 to 20 years before we get good size trees,” said Volktrub.
“We lost some big old trees, spruce even. When I counted the rings, there was one tree that I took down on campus, a Norway spruce, that was 135 years old,” said John Ball, Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist & South Dakota Department of Agriculture Forest Health Specialist.
For those looking to replant, Ball says diversity is key.
“Let’s stop planting a lot spruce. We have way too many spruce trees out there, and I’m not saying no you can’t plant spruce, but how about some other evergreens. So let’s diversify,” said Ball.
Cleaning up the damage, while preparing to replant.
“When my husband bought it, there were 11 trees on the property. We are down to 3. So over the years the storms have taken them. So we will just rebuild and replant,” said Geerts.
Well, if a tree happens to fall on a powerline, the first thing you should do is contact the power company. Then, you should contact a local tree care service to perform the clean up. Do not try to clean up the trees with a chainsaw yourself unless you have experience.