Post-Blizzard Cleanup Of Downed Trees In Colorado Springs

Mar 19, 2019

The City of Colorado Springs is working to clean up downed limbs and trees from the blizzard last week, with a rough cost estimate to remove and replant the damaged trees reaching as much as a quarter of a million dollars. 

The city's forestry department worked to remove trees and debris, or slash, from roads even in the thick of the storm last Wednesday. There's still a lot of work to be done though, said City Forester Dennis Will.

"We're still responding to objects laying in the streets," he said. "Once we get all of that cleared out of the way and the streets are passable again then we'll have to go back and pick up all of that slash."

Will said the city is still working to gather information on the exact amount of work left to be done. The city is responsible for the trees that are in the right-of-way between the curb, the gutter and the sidewalk, and duplicate reports of damage are still be filtered out. As to when the cleanup will be finished, he said it will easily be two weeks if not more. 

Most of the damage was sustained by coniferous trees, Will said. 

A large tree in Otero Park damaged by the winds during the blizzard. The tree is one of up to 200 the city will be responsible for removing.
Credit Abigail Beckman / 91.5 KRCC

"The trees that failed were the coniferous trees, the evergreen trees that of course had needles on them year-round," he said. "That's by far the largest majority of what failed. Ponderosa, Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir…"

The wind just blew through the deciduous trees, he explained.

"Like through the fingers of your hand."

He said the fallen trees have been tall, large diameter trees with a very small root system not capable of holding it up. 

"It's like a giant sail and so in clay soil the root systems aren't as supportive as they should be and the tree just gets blown over," Will said. 

The city is also working on building a database to track reports of tree damage in future storms. 

To report fallen trees or limbs on city property, visit coloradosprings.gov/downtree.