Responding to Downed or Damaged Trees & Tree Debris
When severe storms knock over or damage public trees, Forestry responds with the following priorities:
- Clear tree debris from areas with Life Threatening situations and/or Search and Rescue as designated by the Incident Commander
- Clear tree debris within the immediate vicinity of all Major Emergency Response Centers
- While the restoration of power is done at the discretion of XCEL Energy in conjunction with the Incident Commander, Streets near the major emergency response centers and other Power Corridors will be cleared of debris to facilitate the restoration of power to those locations
- Clear tree debris from major arterial streets
- Clear tree debris from residential streets
- Remove trees made dangerous due to storm damage
- Remove trees on structures
- Clear tree debris from alley ways
- Remove destroyed but non-threatening trees
- Clear tree debris in parks
- Remove less threatening hanging limbs
Stumps left over from storm damaged trees are typically removed in the next calendar year after the storm.
What You Should Do
Stay away from any tree suspected be damaged.
Trees that are damaged may be in contact with an energized wire. Touching the tree or anything near it – such as a fence, puddle, car, etc. – can cause electricity to be transmitted through your body which could result in serious injury or death. If you suspect that a tree is in contact with an energized wire, stay away and call 911.
Let Forestry know about damaged public trees.
If you see a public tree that is leaning, has broken branches, hanging limbs, or any defects you perceive to be unsafe, contact Forestry. If you notice a damaged public tree after 3:30pm or before 7am, call the after-hours emergency number at 651-266-9700. Be ready to provide the address for the tree and the nearest cross street.
Properly dispose of tree debris on your property.
Property owners are responsible for disposing of branches, logs, stumps, and wood chips from trees on their property. You can use Ramsey County’s yard waste sites for private property storm debris. You may also have a licensed tree care company remove tree debris. Note: on occasion, if a severe storm creates an extraordinary large amount of tree debris, the Mayor of Saint Paul may declare an emergency and give special instructions to help you get rid of your private debris. If an emergency is declared, information will be posted on the Forestry website with instructions assisting property owners.