The ice storms in early December snapped tree limbs, and came after storms early in the year that also did damage. Mark Vitosh, a forester with the Department of Natural Resources, says the latest round of storms wasn’t as bad as it looked for tree damage. He says the eastern side of the state around Iowa City and Quad Cities was hit hard, but he says it could have been worse.
Vitosh says one element was missing from the storm that could have been much worse for trees. Vitosh says there was a lot of ice, but we didn’t have the wind that could’ve made it worse. Vitosh says the ice isn’t always bad for trees. Vitosh says the ice storms tend to take out weakly connected or decayed branches. Vitosh says now is the time to start research replacement trees if you had one that was severely damaged.
He says if you had a species you liked, you could go back with it, but first evaluate the site to see how much room you have, what are the soil conditions. Vitosh says after the evaluation you may find a species of tree that works better than the old tree. There is one species you want to avoid.
Vitosh says avoid ash trees as there are concerns about the emerald ash borer that’s in other states. He says oaks do well, honey locust and a number of varieties are available. Vitosh says Iowa State and other sources have good lists of trees.
The DNR also has a tree website that can help you with finding a good tree. He says the website , is a clearinghouse of information on shade trees, managing storm damage and other tree topics. Vitosh says the website was designed with the homeowner in mind.