Snowstorm leaves broken branches, trees in its wake, wiping away signs of fall

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DENVER -- Monday's snowstorm proved too much for some trees across the metro area, with the heavy weight of snow on trees' leaves taking down big branches.

Residents around Denver started clearing up their yards as the storm moved out. In the Hilltop neighborhood, Jan Cotter couldn't believe the size of the branches that went down in her yard.
"I was just in a state of shock when I saw all of this damage over here. It’s just a disaster," Cotter said.

She heard loud booms and crashes, and couldn't figure out where they were coming from until she looked outside.
"I couldn’t believe the size of some of those branches. They are amazing. They are so big," Cotter said. "In the kitchen, I have got three skylights and I was scared to death if any more fell, they would be coming right through the kitchen."

In the County Club neighborhood, Richard Obregon ran an errand, only to come home to find a third of his old elm tree in the street.
"We were lucky. No one injured. No car, no damages. All in all, a single light post that needs to be replaced," Obregon said.

The city of Denver sent out information for people wondering what to do with large damaged trees on their property:

Removing snow from trees

  • Check to make sure the tree is safe and clear of all utility lines prior to removing snow. If the tree is clear of utility lines, using a broom, remove as much snow as possible from branches.
  • Do not attempt to climb tree or use ladder to reach higher limbs

Damaged trees and broken branches

  • Property owners are responsible for cleanup of debris from trees as well as their pruning needs on private property and from trees within the public right-of-way adjacent to their property
  • If a tree limb is broken on a tree within a public right-of-way, or you have general questions about the condition of a public-right-of way tree, contact Denver Forestry for assistance.
  • For trees on private property, citizens can go online for a list of licensed and insured tree care contractors.
  • If emergency removal of a fallen tree or tree branch is needed to clear a street, the city can assist though an established on-call contract, but the cost of the work will be billed to the responsible property owner.
Disposal of tree branches
  • Denver Public Works Solid Waste Management collects a limited amount of branches as part of its regular trash collection service to residents.
  • Branches must be no larger than 4 inches in diameter, and they must be cut into lengths of 4 feet or less, bundled and tied, and weigh no more than 50 pounds.
  • Dumpster customers can place up to five bundles of tied branches in a dumpster, or they may set up to 10 bundles in the alley on their scheduled every-4-week extra trash collection.
  • Manual and cart customers can set out up to 10 bundles of branches on their scheduled every-4-week extra trash collection.
  • Denver residents can also drop off branches at the Cherry Creek recycling drop-off center near East Cherry Creek South Drive and South Quebec Street. Hours of operation can be found on the city’s website.