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Landscape Maintenance after Highlands Ranch tornado and high winds

Highlands Ranch Tornado Touch Landscape Maintenance Vista Landscape Development
Picture of Highlands Ranch Tornado forming

Photo published at CBS News photo credit to Theresa Caughman

Last Thursday, Highlands Ranch experienced what would be the first-ever tornado to touch ground in Denver history. Fortunately, the tornado only caused damage to property and the surrounding landscapes with no casualties or reported injuries to residents. Almost a week later, residents in Highlands Ranch and other neighborhoods in the Denver Metro Area like Lone Tree, Parker, Aurora, and Littleton are dealing with the fallout of the intense weather. The largest problems are dealing with downed or fallen trees that may have collapsed from the high winds and overall landscape maintenance required to clean properties. Vista Landscape Development is no stranger to landscape maintenance projects and property cleans up, here is what you need to know to get your lawn, backyard, or landscaping back to normal.

Highlands Ranch Tornado

On Thursday, Jun 22, 2023 a tornado was reported by the National Weather Service. The tornado started in the late afternoon following a large weather pattern combining violent winds and hail. The National Weather Service stated the tornado touched down at 3:24 PM and traveled along the ground for 26 minutes covering 8.36 miles from Highlands Ranch to the edge of Lone Tree. Winds were reported to reach 90+ mph and the tornado reached a width of 0.5 miles wide. The final classification of the weather event was decided to be an EF1 Tornado. While Highlands Ranch received the more serious weather, the rest of the Metro neighborhoods also experienced dramatic weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms, hail, flooding, and high winds. As a result, many homes and businesses are left with a massive clean-up project to deal with downed trees, fallen fences, destroyed landscaping, and yardwork that might take a professional.

Landscape Maintenance After Storm Damage

Some homeowners and businesses will feel compelled to take matters into their own hands but be cautioned some items are best left to the professionals. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when dealing with landscape maintenance after the serious weather that occurred last week.

Downed Or Fallen Tree Removal

In the event a tree on private property has fallen during a storm, it is best to assess the severity of it. Has the fallen tree landed on a structure (property home, neighbor’s fence, neighbor's home)? Is the fallen tree blocking any roadways or public property (sidewalks, storm drains, alleyways)? Has the fallen tree affected infrastructure like electrical services or so on? If any of these have the answer yes, then it is best to contact a licensed, insured, and bonded professional for tree removal. The reason for this is due to the liability nature of the tree’s removal. A tree that has affected another’s property needs to be handled carefully so that the original homeowner is not negatively blamed for additional damage. Vista Landscape Development can provide services and assistance in finding the correct solution for removing a fallen tree from a property in this type of situation.

If the answer to any of the previous conditions is no, then a homeowner may perform work themselves or hire a lesser landscape contractor. However, homeowners might find regular landscape contractors and landscape maintenance companies to be the best option. In terms of having the correct skills and available tools to get the job done, it might save a weekend or two of hard labor.

Cleaning up debris

With winds reaching well up to 90 mph, properties are most likely littered with all types of debris. From broken branches and random trash to toppled fencing and completely uprooted trees. In regards to the violent winds that affected most of Denver, fallen tree branches will be the homeowner's or property manager’s responsibility. Depending on the size and amount of fallen tree limbs, it might be helpful to hire a landscape maintenance contractor for help.

Don’t forget, there is also a specific protocol for how tree branches are disposed of per the guidelines a property’s municipality. For example, Denver:

  • Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure collects a limited number of branches as part of its monthly extra 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

  • Customers may set out up to 10 bundles of branches on their monthly large item pickup day

  • Denver residents can also drop off branches at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off center located near East Cherry Creek Drive South and South Quebec Street. Hours of operation can be found on the city’s website at

Over in Highlands Ranch, there has been additional provisions made to help deal with the aftermath of the tornado. A newly-added site for debris drop-off has been established over at Grigs Road and McArthur Ranch Road. There are now three sites available for tree debris. Anything larger than a typical trashcan load should go to these sites:

  • Highland Heritage Regional Park, 9651 S. Quebec

  • Halftime Help Stadium at Redstone Park, 3280 Redstone Park Circle

  • Grigs Road site at Grigs Road and McArthur Ranch Road

Power Lines and Cables

If your home has overhead powerlines or cables that were affected by the storm it is highly advised that you contact Xcel Energy immediately for assistance, their number is 1-800-895-1999. A few more things that are important:

  • If a power line is in contact with a tree or any other object, stay away and call 911 immediately.

  • Anyone who witnesses an emergency that requires an immediate response should always call 911.

Landscape Maintenance and Landscape Install After Storm Damage

If all the major items and debris have been removed or addressed for your property, your landscape may still exhibit signs of damage and distress. Vista Landscape Development will be happy to offer a hassle-free quote that covers all the areas of improvement your landscape or yard needs. Vista Landscape Development can install new flowers, plants, and trees to areas that are now barren. Or if the recent storm has given your property a good opportunity for starting a project long overdue, Vista can help with concrete hardscapes, retaining walls, patios, and features that truly make the space a wonderful spot for the Summer. Don’t Colorado’s recent weather rain on your parade, so to speak, Vista Landscape Development is here to help make your landscape truly shine.

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