City reminds you to find a licensed contractor for downed trees

A downed tree in the 2500 block of Colfax Avenue after severe thunderstorms on June 21, 2013. (Photo by Tracy Evans for MPR News)
A downed tree in the 2500 block of Colfax Avenue after severe thunderstorms on June 21, 2013. (Photo by Tracy Evans for MPR News)

With trees down across the city, Minneapolis is urging residents to hire licensed tree removal contractors.

"It’s important to make sure the tree company you use is licensed, because unlicensed companies may not be insured for damage they might cause to your property, and their workers may not be properly trained to protect themselves and your property from damage," according to the city's website. Excerpt:

  • To find out if a tree service contractor is licensed in Minneapolis, look at this list on the city’s website.

  • A licensed contractor must submit a copy of a written estimate to the property owner for approval prior to any work to be performed.

  • Licensed tree service contractors have marked vehicles and display a city of Minneapolis license decal.

  • Licensed tree service contractors maintain insurance in the event of damage to your property, your neighbors’ property, or if anyone is injured on the job site.

  • In addition, the city requires that each tree service company hire at least one employee who has a current certification as an arborist or a college degree in urban forestry or arboriculture. This ensures the company is educated in plant health, pests and pathogen control, and other aspects of urban forestry.

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Minneapolis Park Board crews will collect debris from trees that's brought to boulevards from July 1-12.

St. Paul officials are telling residents to move debris to the curb and call the city's forestry department for pickup over the next three weeks.

"Due to the size of some trees, we may have to hire some outside crews to use large machinery to lift trees off of homes or private residences, but with tonight's forecast of additional storms, that could certainly impact the timeline of when we could recover from this storm," said Brad Meyer, the public services manager for the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department.

St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood was hit the worst, although there was also damage on the West Side and along Johnson Parkway on the East Side, said Meyer.

Crews working nonstop to clear trees, said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

Excerpt from a City of St. Paul press release:

Due to the widespread impact and resulting level of debris from the storm, City of Saint Paul Forestry will assist homeowners who need help removing tree debris from the storm by picking it up from their curb within the next three weeks. 

Forestry can only pick up logs and brush--not stumps-- that have been downed as a result of the storm. To have tree debris collected from the curb, residents must notify the Forestry hotline at 651-632-5129 and debris must be placed on the curb by Friday, June 28. Tree debris must be separated from non-tree debris. It may take up to three weeks to collect the debris.

City crews continue their nonstop work today to clean up and repair damage left by a string of serious storms last night. Weather reports indicate strong storms may continue this afternoon into tomorrow morning. All Saint Paul residents are advised to use caution and stay away from downed power lines.

Forestry crews are continuing to work as quickly as possible to clear streets of hazardous tree debris from the recent storms. Several areas in the city are still being assessed for damage, and given the multi-day event and loss of power throughout the city, it may take several days to respond to all the public tree debris. To report public tree debris that isn't being responded to yet, please call the Public Works 24-hour hotline 651-266-9700.