Kentucky Division of Forestry
Urban Forestry Strike Teams to Assess Storm Damaged Trees

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, March 17, 2009  
Contact Information:  Lynn Brammer

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Energy and Environment Cabinet

Steven L. Beshear, Governor                                                      Len Peters, Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           CONTACT: Lynn Brammer                1-800-866-0555

Urban Forest Strike Teams to Assess Tree Damage
Teams to work in western Kentucky communities March 18 - 27

 FRANKFORT, KY – (March 17, 2009) – An Urban Forest Strike Team (UFST) will begin work March 18 through March 27 in the communities of Mayfield, Madisonville, Owensboro and Henderson.  The strike team, consisting of nine certified arborists from other states and two certified arborists from the Kentucky Division of Forestry, will evaluate publicly-owned trees damaged by the recent ice storm.  The team will also collect data for potential FEMA reimbursement. 
 The UFST, a project of the Southern Group of State Foresters, was created to help communities assess damaged trees in the aftermath of natural disasters.  In Western Kentucky, the team will concentrate its efforts in city parks where damaged trees will be assessed for either removal or pruning and will be marked accordingly.   An orange paint dot will indicate that the tree has extensive damage and needs to be removed.  A white paint dot will indicate that the tree has light damage and should be properly pruned and/or supported.  All trees that are assessed will be eligible for FEMA debris reimbursement. 
 “We are very fortunate to have these teams assist our hardest-hit communities,” said Leah MacSwords, KDF division director.  “These teams provide professional and timely assistance to local officials who are in the process of determining which trees are an unacceptable risk and which trees are suitable for retention and management.”
 For private landowners and homeowners who are concerned about damaged trees, the KDF Web site offers a variety of fact sheets and links, including: International Society of Arboriculture, Managing Ice-Damaged Forest Stands, Tax Tips for Forest Landowners and an interactive Web site, Trees after the Storm.  KDF also recommends hiring a certified arborist with proof of insurance and warns homeowners to be wary of drive-by tree services.  For more information on storm-damaged trees, visit the KDF Web site at, or call 1-866-0555.   For information regarding the UFST, visit

 The Kentucky Division of Forestry offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  The Southern Group of State Foresters is a non-profit organization consisting of State Foresters from across the South working together to promote the benefits of southern forests.  For more information about the Southern Group of State Foresters, visit