Tips for storm debris clean up

Maureen BradyCity, Municipal Services and Operations, Parks & Recreation, Solid Waste

Following the storms last night and early this morning, City crews are out working to clean up tree debris and branches in the right of way. If you have a concern about trees or tree limbs that are in the right-of-way, please contact the City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department at 785-832-3450 for assistance.

If you have a concern about a tree or tree limbs located on your private property, you can follow these three steps:

  1. Assess the damage by asking these questions: Is the tree healthy? Are major limbs broken? Has the leader been lost? Is the tree still 50% intact? How large are the wounds in relation to the size of the limb? Can remaining branches form a new main branch for the tree?
  2. Consult a licensed and certified arborist for help assessing the damage if you are unsure.
  3. Make decision about your trees. If it is minor damage, can your trees be pruned and saved? If it is major damage, you should consult a licensed and certified arborist. If you need to remove all or part of the tree, use only City licensed tree trimmers because they have provided proof of insurance and proficiency. Leave the chainsaw work to the professionals.

As a result of the storm, please be alert and use caution for downed power lines that may be tangled in debris or laying across the road. Also be careful of dangerous hanging branches. Stay away from any downed utility lines.

What to do with storm debris

The City’s Compost Facility, located at 1420 E 11th St (two blocks east of 11th and Haskell), will open on Saturday, August 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for storm woody debris (tree branches) and yard waste drop off. The cost is $5 per pickup truck load (more for larger trucks and trailers). CASH ONLY. This brush drop-off site is for Lawrence residential customers, not for tree trimming service companies.

The City’s Solid Waste Division crews will pick up tree branches and other storm debris with regularly scheduled residential collection services Monday through Friday. Tree branches and other yard waste material should be set out in City yard waste carts or compostable paper yard waste bags, sticking out no more than 12″ above the container opening. Bundles of tree and brush trimmings are also accepted. Each bundle must not exceed five feet in length or 18 inches in diameter and must not weigh more than 65 pounds. Bundles must be tied with string or twine (please no wire, duct tape, etc.).


Contact: Porter Arneill, Communications & Creative Resources Director,