Some Marion residents have expressed concern that healthy trees are being taken down in the cleanup of the Aug.10 derecho debris near the waterways. While a tree may look perfectly healthy, with green leaves and standing upright, that might not be the case.

Closer inspection by a trained eye, says Mike Cimprich, Marion’s city arborist, can reveal twisting, splitting, and pressure loading of the trunk and major limbs due to such severe winds from the storm.

“I want to point out that [while] I don’t have direct oversight of this project, as it fell under the Public Services umbrella. However, I have been very involved with helping assess and clarify questionable removals as well as preserving robust trees in said areas,” Cimprich said.

Any wood that was cut up or removed from the waterways was assessed beforehand to meet certain criteria, set by FEMA:

• Trees with greater than 50 percent canopy loss

• Large limb loss exposing heartwood in the primary trunk

• Trees leaning at a 35 degree angle or greater

• Any windthrown uprooted tree or leaning/snagged tree showing exposed roots

• Broken, split, twisted and hanging tree parts

• Trees with multi-stemmed trees that lost strong codominant leaders

The timber was photographed before and after cutting, then recorded for review in order to verify qualification for FEMA reimbursement.

Removing damaged trees from the waterways had two goals. One was to ensure the safety of the public in walking or biking along the trails, and two, was to keep the waterways from more-than-normal flooding.

Public Services had removed nearly 300,000 cubic yards of debris from Indian Creek, Wanatee Creek, and Dry Creek.

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