Bloomington responds to severe weather

Storms trigger cleanup activity

Lightning bolt.

Latest update: September 30

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that federal economic injury disaster loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes located in Minnesota as a result of hail on Aug. 6, 2013.

Bloomington Public Works crews have been working to remove debris following the severe weather that passed through the city on August 6.

Heavy rains and high winds resulted in localized street flooding, tree damage, structural damage and widespread power outages. While there are pockets of damage throughout the city, the majority of damage occurred in the northeast portion of the city.

Worker using chainsaw Loader moving tree limbs.

View more photos of storm cleanup work on the City's Facebook page.external link

Debris dropoff site information

While the storm on the evening of August 6 does not meet the criteria for a City storm emergency pick up, and is a bit below the threshold for a public dropoff site, the City is opting to provide a short-term dropoff site for Bloomington residents.

From August 7 through August 21, the City is offering a public dropoff site for storm tree debris at 3001 Long Meadow Circleexternal link just east of the Mall of America. During this two-week period, the site will be open as follows: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Only tree debris will be accepted. No stumps, wood chips from stumps, or construction materials are allowed.

Seniors, individuals with disabilities and those unable to afford services may contact Human Services at 952-563-8733 or TTY 952-563-8740 to learn about resources that may be available for debris removal and yard cleanup.

Consumer safety when hiring a tree service

Property owners may choose to clean up their own tree damage, or they may hire a tree service to remove or repair trees.

When choosing a tree service, protect yourself from unscrupulous people who may not have your best interests in mind.

  • Never let yourself be rushed by bargains ("If you sign an agreement today, I can take ten percent off the price...").
  • Get more than one estimate, if possible, to ensure that the price offered is competitive with that offered by others for the same services.
  • Have a clear understanding about who removes the limbs and takes debris to a tree disposal site, and whether the price includes stump grinding and cleanup.
  • Check credentials. Reports have already surfaced of disreputable solicitors who, after agreeing to perform tree removal services, have "taken the money and run."
    • Sample solicitor's ID badge.
      When approached by solicitors, ask for their City-issued Solicitor's ID. Everybody who solicits door-to-door in Bloomington is required by law to obtain a license and to carry an ID badge (example at right).
    • Verify the business is on the list of licensed solicitors at the City's "Solicitors in Bloomington" webpage.
    • Verify business phone numbers and addresses to ensure that these are valid and accurate.

Here are some additional ways to ensure that you are working with a reputable service:

  • Ask for current certificates of insurance showing that they are fully insured for property damage, personal liability, and worker compensation.
  • Ideally, the tree service should be a member of a professional association of arborists such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the National Arborist Association (NAA) or the Minnesota Society of Arboriculture (MSA) and/or be ISA Certified Arborists.
  • A conscientious arborist will not use "climbing spikes (spurs)" if the damaged tree is to remain in the landscape.

"Above all, don't be pressured into making a decision. Taking the time to select a qualified tree professional can safeguard your trees and save you from long-term consequences."

- The National Arbor Day Foundation

Typical tree removal costs

As a guide to what may be expected for costs of tree removal, here are selected sizes and prices bid under our Diseased Tree Program.

You may use these figures as a guide. However, individual properties may present unique problems for removal and getting the tree out for hauling. Any great deviation may be viewed with suspicion. Some increase can be expected when contractors are overloaded with work. Also, the time frame for removal may be slow.

Diameter at chest height Base price Add 20%*
12.0" - 13.9" $224 $44
18.0" - 19.9" $485 $97
24.0" - 25.9" $640 $128
30.0" - 31.9" $990 $198
36.0" and over $1,600 $320

*Base prices in our Diseased Tree Program are increased by 20% when utility wires are within the spread of the tree. These adjustments compensate for the increased difficulty of removal posed by the potential electrical hazard.

Tree contractors

These contractors are believed to perform quality tree repair and removal. Inclusion of names on this list does NOT constitute an endorsement or the City of Bloomington. (Also try the Yellow Pages)

Contractor Pruning Removal Stump grinding Tree injection Certified arborist Phone number
A-1 Sarff X X X X X 612-866-1110
Aspenwall Tree Service X X X X X 612-889-4098
Bartlett Tree Experts X X X X X 763-253-8733
Breiwick Stump Removal     X     612-242-7074
Carlson's Tree Service X X X     952-884-5125
Landberg's Tree Service X X       952-955-1279
Logs & Limbs X X X     952-881-5838
North Star Tree Care X X X X X 612-419-7446
Rainbow Tree Care X X X X X 952-922-3810
Roggenbuck Tree Care X X X     952-461-2673
Ryan's Tree Care X X X X X 952-303-5500
S & S Tree Specialists X X X X X 651-451-8907
Shadywood Tree Experts X X X X X 952-933-0614
Tree Tech X X       952-432-4430
  • Wood chips (as available)
    10500 Hampshire Ave. S. (Western Maint. Area)
    Bloomington, MN 55438
  • Tree debris disposal
    SKB Malcolm Avenue Transfer Station
    630 Malcolm Ave. S.E.
    Minneapolis, MN 55414
    612-331-4610 external link
  • Electrical lines
    Xcel Energy - Tree Trimming
    1-800-895-1999 external link

Planting trees this fall

Many residents have inquired about the possibility of the City holding a fall tree sale to replace uprooted trees. After exploring the possibility, the City has determined that the best way for residents to find trees to replant this fall would to buy from their local garden center or tree nursery rather than from a City-sponsored tree sale. As it is late in the season, many of these businesses are trying to get rid of their stock to make room for winter merchandise and, as a result, are providing incentives for consumers. Retailers are offering trees for prices at or below what wholesale tree vendors are able to offer the City. The consumer is provided a broader array of stock than could be found at a City-sponsored tree sale.

Now through the end of September is a good time to plant trees. For more information, call Bloomington Assistant Maintenance Superintendent Paul Edwardson at 952-563-8762.

The City will again be offering a City-sponsored tree sale next spring. Visit our Web site for details this spring.

Here is a short list of some metro area garden centers and nurseries:

  • Bachmans, various metro locations
  • Bloomington Garden Center & Landscape, Bloomington
  • Cobblestone Gardens, Bloomington
  • Dundee Nursery, Plymouth
  • Gertens, Inver Grove Heights
  • Halla Nursery, Chanhassen
  • Minnesota Valley Garden Center, Shakopee

Storm operations support sustainability

Tree debris from the recent storms in Bloomington will be used as an alternative fuel source. District Energy St. Paul crews are grinding the debris into wood chips for use as fuel in their St. Paul waste-to-energy plant.

Bloomington has maintained a partnership with District Energy St. Paul over the past few years, working with the company as part of the City's diseased tree program. The ongoing relationship is of mutual benefit -- District Energy St. Paul receives a good alternative fuel source and the City is able to dispose of tree debris at no cost.

For more information, call Bloomington Assistant Maintenance Superintendent Dave Hanson at 952-563-8765.

Traffic reminder: stop at unpowered traffic lights!

The Bloomington Police remind motorists to obey all traffic laws. Whenever a power outage affects stoplights, motorists must stop at the intersection, treating each unpowered stoplight as a stop sign.

Electrical meter and mast repairs

Any damage to the mast or meter is the responsibility of the property owner to repair. Meter and mast repairs must be performed by an electrical contractor licensed by the State of Minnesota. The work requires a permit and needs to be inspected by a City electrical inspector.

If you have any questions about permitting, temporary hookups or installation questions, please contact the City's Electrical Inspections Division at 952-563-8930.

Food safety during power outages

If the power is out for less than 4 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.

If the power is out for longer than 4 hours, follow the guidelines below:

  • For the freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
  • For the refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
  • Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


For more information

  • For the most current information, call the Storm Update Hotline at 952-563-8768.
  • For volunteer resources, or if you'd like to help out the community, call the Human Services Divisionat 952-563-8733.
  • For power information, call Xcel Energy at 800-895-1999.


Quality Services - Affordable Price