For Immediate ReleaseAugust 11, 2011
Tornado-tipped tree stump removal begins in north Minneapolis
The May 22 tornado that touched down through 3.5 miles of north Minneapolis downed 2,600 park and boulevard trees. Today, following weeks of preparation, the Minneapolis Park Board’s forestry crews began removing the most unsightly stumps along northside boulevards – the 1,529 stumps that are tipped and have exposed roots.
During the days and weeks following the tornado, Park Board and City crews worked around the clock to open streets, remove downed and damaged boulevard trees and haul away residential tree debris. An amazing 5,000 loads of tree material totaling 120,165 cubic yards was removed between May 22 and the end of June. During the month of July, forestry crews starting focusing on the safe removal of the tipped stumps.
“The 1,529 tipped stumps are the worst to look and the most difficult to remove,” said Jayne Miller, superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. “Tree roots can stretch under sidewalks or around gas lines. Our forestry crews have diligently photographed and inventoried the addresses of all 1,529 stumps and each site had utility lines located by Gopher State to prevent any safety issues. FEMA then began the process of determining the GPS location of each stump.”
The work, which will begin in the northernmost section of the tornado area and systematically move south, requires the use of large machinery and temporary closures of streets while the work is being done.
“We have two Forestry crews that will work block by block removing the trees,” explained Jon Olson, Park Board commissioner. “We are committed to tree removal and reforestation of the northside. It’s going to take some time, but we’re doing everything we can to get the area ready for planting next spring.”
The Park Board estimates it will take until mid September to remove all of the tipped stumps, and through the end of the year to grind down another 1,000 boulevard stumps that are flat, not tipped, from trees cut down after the storm.
“Northside residents will be pleased to see stump removal progressing and their sidewalks repaired in the near future,” said Minneapolis Council Member Barbara Johnson.
After tipped stumps are safety removed, the City of Minneapolis will repair sidewalks and curbs that were damaged during the tornado.
“This stump removal will be critical to a sense of progress and returning to normalcy for our beleaguered neighbors,” said Minneapolis Council Member Don Samuels.
Park Board and City officials look forward to having all tipped and flat stumps within the tornado area removed by the end of the year, and planning is already underway in collaboration with the neighborhoods for replanting and re-greening the northside next spring.
Dawn Sommers, MPRB Communications and Marketing Manager