The City of Cedar Rapids is beginning another step in the very long road to recovery following the August 10 derecho... determining which trees in the city right-of-way (usually between the sidewalk and street) can be saved and which ones have to come down. Considering about 75 percent of those trees were impacted by the storm, it's a big task.

The city announced in a media release that they've contracted with certified arborists to examine and mark trees in the city right-of-way that need to be either trimmed or removed. The arborists and Cedar Rapids staff are working together to set the guidelines, and the condition of every right-of-way tree in the city Cedar Rapids will also be updated as part of the process, which is expected to take about a month. James Flannery Trucking LLC is doing the work, with DebrisTech doing the documentation.

Once a tree has been assessed, it will have a colored tag that will indicate to crews if the tree should be trimmed, taken down, or left alone. The city asks that no one remove any of the tags put on trees, which also assures FEMA assistance is available for their trimming or removal. The arborists will also mark the trees with paint. When work begins on trees on a specific street, 'no parking' signs will be placed in the areas where the work will take place.

Cedar Rapids City Arborist Todd Fagan said,

We understand that residents may be concerned about the viability of the street tree in front of their home. It is our intent to save every tree that does not have structural damage, but we must determine whether the trauma from the storm will cause the tree to ultimately fail.

After a tree is trimmed or cut down, the debris will be left at the curb for crews to pick up in their next pass on the street. Stumps will be removed later. If you have questions, please email constructioneng@cedar-rapids.org. You can report concerns about a specific tree in the city right-of-way HERE.