The August 10th derecho produced devastating impacts to Iowa’s agriculture, infrastructure, and forest resources. The storm left many folks saying “my forests and trees are severely damaged, what do I do now?”
- A good place to start is to check out our encyclopedia article Managing Storm Damaged Woodlands and the extension publication Managing Storm-Damaged Trees in the Sustainable Urban Landscapes Series.
- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has a Forestry Storm Resources section on the right side of their Urban Forestry page that has several useful resources related to storm recovery including chainsaw safety, pruning, and finding an expert to help.
- Purdue Extension also has a publication called Trees and Storms (pdf) which has additional information.
- Often it is possible to salvage storm-damaged trees with some pruning. The Nebraska Forest Service has a publication Pruning Storm Damaged Trees (pdf) that provides helpful tips for doing this properly.
Often storm damage is far too significant for the individual home or landowner to handle on their own. Certified arborists can help with damaged trees in urban settings. For those that sustained severe damage to rural woodlands, it is highly recommended to work with a professional forester on a recovery strategy. Foresters will ensure you receive maximum value for your storm-damaged timber and that it is harvested safely and sustainably. In addition, they’ll work with you to plan, establish, and maintain the next generation of forest.
Planning for the future is another important part of storm recovery. Healthy resilient trees and woodlands that are properly managed can often withstand storms and recover. Check out our blog post on lessons from the derecho to learn more about how to establish trees that will be better likely to withstand damaging winds.
Reach Out to FSA to Express Interest in Recovery Help
The Emergency Forest Restoration Program administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA) MIGHT have funds to help Iowa woodland owners recover from storm damage. It is important for landowners with damaged woodlands to contact their County FSA office to inquire about the program. This will help communicate the need for recovery funds through EFRP in Iowa. Check back for more information on this program.