Forestry Division Moves into Next Stage of Cleanup from Summer Derecho

DES MOINES, IOWA – Wednesday, October 14, 2020 – It’s been over two months since the storm of the summer moved through Des Moines and much of central Iowa. Curbside debris collection is complete thanks to a massive effort from the Des Moines Public Works Department, which collected 9,371 truckloads of debris from across the City.

“It really was an all hands-on deck job for the whole Public Works Department,” Urban Forestry Project Manager Shane McQuillan said. 

That doesn’t mean cleanup from this summer’s derecho is done.  McQuillan estimates that the City Forestry Division is approximately 50-70% done cleaning up City trees and is looking for residents to report any City trees that have hazards or damages that have not been addressed yet.

“We’ve addressed the most hazardous and dangerous issues following the derecho, and now we’re working on addressing all of the trees that were damaged in the storm,” McQuillan said.

City residents can report trees by calling the Public Works Department at (515) 283-4950 or through the myDSMmobile Application.

McQuillan said that the City lost hundreds of trees due to damage from the derecho and that the cumulative effect of normal tree mortality, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and derecho tree loss means the Forestry Division will need to focus on increasing planting of new trees by at least 10% just to maintain the strong and vibrant Des Moines canopy.

For more information, visit or call (515) 283-4950.

Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.