By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Parts of the state have experienced major flooding in recent weeks. That’s resulted in damaged homes, businesses and roadways. And some of the damage may not be obvious until this summer.

A melting snowpack can cause immediate and long-term damage to trees, which puts them at risk of falling — causing even more damage.

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“They are just looking for a little bit of containment. Clean up the trees a little bit so that material isn’t dropping on them all the time,” said Lane Schmiesing of Monster Tree Service.

It’s preventative pruning for Schmiesing and his crew. It includes trimming branches that are hanging over a fence and working on a maple tree that’s encroaching upon a north Minneapolis home.

But for some homeowners, heavy snowpack and saturated soil have already created hidden problems.

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(credit: CBS)

“That combination means you are going to have saturated roots and you are going to have weakened soil structure around the base of the tree,” Schmiesing said.

A weakened base now can lead to issues when trees leaf out this spring, especially for bigger and older trees like cottonwoods and maples.

“One big thunderstorm comes through and if the soil is a little softer, trees can be more prone to falling over,” Paul Pinkalla of Precision Landscape and Tree said.

The damage that comes from that can cause real headaches. Pinkalla said homeowners should look for ground heaving up on one side of a tree and caving in on the other side. If that’s happening, it’s time to call a licensed tree service to see what can be done.

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“We can do a lot to prevent that with proper pruning techniques. If there is a problem with the soil around it, there is a lot we can do to help,” said Pinkalla.
The best way to find out if a tree service is licensed, is to contact your city or county. They must also register with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

John Lauritsen