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Posted on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

Ann Arbor says residents don't need to worry about chopping up fallen tree branches following storm

By Ryan J. Stanton


Tree branches block the sidewalk as they hang from a tree along Granger Avenue on Thursday in Ann Arbor. Heavy, wet snow blanketed the area causing trees and power lines to fall.

Melanie Maxwell I

As work continues to clean up the trail of debris left behind after this week's snowstorm, Ann Arbor officials are telling residents they don't need to cut up or bundle downed tree limbs.

In other words, don't worry about having to fire up a chainsaw or getting out an ax to chop those branches in front of your house down to size before putting them to the curb.


DTE service trucks lined up along Granger Avenue on Thursday.

Melanie Maxwell I


Tree branches cover the lawn of a home located in the 1500 block of Golden Avenue on Thursday.

Melanie Maxwell I

"We are chipping all of the woody debris and it's actually much more expedient for us to chip one medium/large branch than a bunch of cut-up smaller branches," said Kerry Gray, the city's urban forestry and natural resources planner.

Gray said residents should place any tree branches, limbs or woody debris in the extension between the sidewalk and the curb, being careful not to block or intrude on the sidewalk or street.

If there is a tree branch blocking the sidewalk or street, residents are encouraged to contact the forestry department at 734-794-6364.

Ann Arbor officials announced plans for dealing with downed trees and branches on Wednesday after more than 7 inches of heavy snow tore the limbs off many neighborhood trees, and in some cases took trees down entirely.

City officials said residents can store storm-damaged tree limbs on their lawn extension — but not in the street — for future city collection. The initial plan is to provide two citywide passes to collect tree branches from extensions, with the first pass to start the middle of next week.

Residents can keep informed of the tree branch-collection plan by subscribing to updates via the city's e-notification service. Go to, click on the red envelope icon, and select the "news" and "snow removal" topics from the subscription menu.

At least 10 trees came down overnight and city officials said those were removed by 7 a.m. Forestry crews were brought in overnight to address the volume of tree-related issues, giving priority to downed tree limbs obstructing traffic and plowing operations. Outside contractors also were deployed to assist with the city's tree-related issues.

City officials said neighborhoods with old, mature trees appear to be hardest hit, especially in the Burns Park and Arbor Hills area, but downed limbs are being reported across the city.

The city also is asking drivers to move their vehicles from neighborhood streets until the weekend to allow the city to effectively clear snow and debris.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Lets Get Real

Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

What about the large limbs that fell in my 70 year old Mother's back yeard? She is not capable of dragging them to the front easement. I'm in another state, and she lives on social security and can't afford to hire someone nor does she know who that would be. How does she get help?


Tue, Mar 5, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

well that depends where she is i can help i burn wood for heat and do a lot of free clean up in the ypsilanti area


Mon, Mar 4, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

Craigs List has lots of people who can be hired to do this sort of thing. BTW - 70 year olds are a lot smarter than you think. I am sure she still knows how to use a phone, and I bet she knows how to use a computer.


Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

Her children will arrange a service and payment via the internet..


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

Pittsfield Township---- please do the same!! Our huge tree lost a big front section due to the snow storm - Great NEWS for Ann Arbor!

Ann English

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

I've seen Davey vehicles brought in to remove tree branches and assume Davey is one outside contractor.


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Cool story Ann

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

That might be why it says "Davey" & not "The City Of Ann Arbor" on the sides of the trucks...


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

I'll bet some folks might help out and come around looking for firewood for fireplaces and bonfires for later in the spring and summer. Of course the bonfires would probably be while camping.

Pete Cunningham

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

Solid reporting Ryan. I was getting ready to fire up the chainsaw. It's in everyone's best interest that this does not happen.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 2 a.m.

Yeah, Pete, I heard about last time. They definitely don't call you "Chainsaw Cunningham" for no reason!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 10:24 p.m.

Are you like me Pete, not too confident in your chainsawing abilities? ;-)


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

What is the procedure for Ypsilanti and various townships residents?

Cole Bertsos

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

Hey keri- We just posted this update about Ypsilanti debris removal: Unfortunately, we haven't heard back from the townships yet, but stay tuned!