Storm-tossed trees need TLC

EF-2 tornadoes and high winds May 13 put 40,000 Tulsans in the dark and damaged a lot of trees. A company of 100 Public Works employees spent a week removing limbs and other debris from streets in a 138-square-mile area of Tulsa.

The damage occurred from west Tulsa east to 129th East Avenue, and from downtown south to 121st Street.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry publication "Ice Storm Damage" at suggests ways to help trees recover from storm damage. The online page includes these click-links:

"Helping trees recover from ice storms,"

"Will my trees survive?"

"Don't top trees,"

"How to hire an arborist,"

It's an eight-page treatise on what they are and why they're necessary.

Mark Bays, an urban forestry coordinator for the Agriculture Department, says the best tool for limb-damaging wind storms is patience, and next best is concern for personal safety. Tree limbs damaged by wind can be waiting to fall on inexperienced tree trimmers halfway up ladders. Hand saws, chain saws, ladders and ropes are all hazardous to the inexperienced.

The proper way to remove a broken limb is to first make a shallow perpendicular cut into the limb's underside several inches from the outer edge of its "branch collar." Make a second cut on top of the limb, several inches out from the first cut, and keep cutting until the limb breaks off between the two cuts. Then follow the outer edge of the branch collar to remove the limb stump.

Find an arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture, at, which lists designated "ISA Certified Arborists." Use your ZIP code to find an arborist-supervised tree care service. See

For the 74105 ZIP code, the site indicates 27 arborists in Tulsa, four in Broken Arrow and one each in Sand Springs, Jenks, Bixby, Sapulpa, Mannford, Owasso, Skiatook, Collinsville, Coweta, Oologah, Wagoner, Okmulgee and Bartlesville. Plus three in Claremore, four in Guthrie, two in Choctaw, four in Tecumseh and two in Muskogee.

Debris can be cut into sections no longer than 4 feet and placed in bundles at the curb for refuse collectors to pick up during their next round. Lawn debris can be placed at curbside in cans, bags, boxes, sturdy containers or bundles. This includes brush and limbs cut into 4-foot lengths and tied in 2-foot-diameter bundles that weigh up to 50 pounds.

Branches can be taken whole to the city's green waste site at 10401 E. 56th St. North from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except city holidays. Disposal is free for patrons who show a current driver's license that bears a Tulsa address.

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