When a tree falls in a neighborhood, where does it go?


MADISON, Wis. — When a tree falls in a residential area, it certainly makes noise, but what happens after? Madison Streets Division officials say it is turned into mulch.

Twigs, branches and whole trees littered the streets of Madison on Monday after a strong storm system rolled through the area, causing extensive damage along the way. Since then, Streets Division crews – equipped with chainsaws, large mechanical grabs, dump trucks and rakes – have been working to clear the city’s roads so energy crews can restore power. for the thousands of inhabitants who still do not have one.

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Bryan Johnson of the Streets Division said in an email to News 3 Now that all brush collected through these efforts ends up going to the division’s waste dump site on Olin Avenue. There, the teams feed the brush they have collected into an industrial wood chipper.

Once the wood is mulched, the city makes it available free of charge to residents in small quantities. Larger amounts of mulch are available for purchase from the city.

Trees that haven’t fallen but appear to require a different response, Johnson said.

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The Urban Forest Service, which is a department within the Streets Division, is responsible for responding to calls from residents regarding trees on public property. Most often, these are the trees planted on the grassy space between the sidewalk and the curb.

Once the group receives a call about a tree that may be falling, trained arborists will respond to assess it.

Since the Department of Urban Forestry only manages trees on city property, any resident concerned about falling trees on their property should contact a certified arborist. The Wisconsin Arborist Association makes it easy with a few clicks of an online button.

Given the extent of the damage in the Madison area, Johnson said residents should also be wary of scam artists who may be canvassing door-to-door asking people with tree damage to pay them for get help moving. He also noted that if residents have trouble with a city tree, the Department of Urban Forestry will take care of it for free. Residents can contact the department by phone at 608-266-4816 or by fill out an online form.

More information on the city’s brush collection site and mulching practices are available online.

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