Extension offers tree tips, cities to continue curb pickup
By Peter Gillitzer, University of Minnesota Extension Research Assistant
The city of Hills put a call out for volunteers to help pick up storm debris. The call was answered by dozens of people willing to drive tractors, side dumpers, bobcats and dump trucks. Plus, dozens more helped out on the ground. On Saturday the cleanup focused on city property and main streets. By Monday they had moved on to the residential areas of town. Crews on tractors pushed branches into large piles at the center of intersections. Later larger equipment was brought in to remove the piles. Branches are being hauled to the tree dump where they are being burned. If additional work is needed, the city plans to use volunteers again on Saturday. Anyone interested in helping can contact the city office.

Ice, wind and snowstorms wreaked havoc on trees in the Upper Midwest. This document provides steps that should be taken after a storm.
•Storm damage that leaves a large tear where a limb came down, should be pruned by removing jagged and protruding wood. Make a smooth, clean cut to the extent possible.
•Do not remove large, heavy limbs with a single cut. A safe pruning cut involves three cuts. The first two cuts remove the limb and its weight; the third cut is the finish cut.
•First, make a cut about one-third of the way through the limb on the underside of the branch, about one foot out from the branch attachment.
The second cut removes the weight of the branch, and should be made from the top, about two inches farther out from the first cut.
The third cut is made to neatly remove the limb stub. The cut should be made just outside the branch collar, a slight raised ring or band where the wood of the main branch and the limb merge together. For more information on the three-cut technique see the United States Forest Service publication, “How to Prune
Trees.”
•Pruning paints are unnecessary, unless the wounds have occurred on an oak during April, May or June. Pruning paints may mask the smell that attracts oak wilt-carrying beetles. Cover wounds within a few minutes of pruning.
•Straightening and guying is an option for uprooted, smaller trees 25 feet. Begin immediately after the storm by placing stakes around the tree and attaching without pulling on the tree. Don’t use thin rope or wire that could damage the bark. Be sure roots remain covered and moist.
•If you need a chainsaw or ladder to prune, or are wondering if the tree is worth saving, consult a professional arborist. A list of certified arborists in Minnesota is available at msa-live.org.
For more information, see the Extension publication, “Storm Damage to Landscape Trees: Prediction, Preventing and Treatment.” Or contact the Department of Forest Resources Extension and Outreach office at (612) 624-3020.

Hills Residents
Residents can bring limbs and branches to the city compost area tree pile or they are asked to place the limbs and branches at the curb. The city crew will pick up the branches.

Beaver Creek Residents
Residents can bring limbs and branches to the city compost area tree pile or they are asked to place the limbs and branches at the curb. They must be broken down into 8-foot lengths.

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