DENVER (CBS4)– Homeowners in Denver and Aurora worked to clear their yards of debris on Thursday after severe storms the night before left behind a lot of damage.

Denver Parks and Recreation crews worked to clear debris from medians left in the aftermath of Wednesday’s storms.

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One homeowner, Denisse Lake-Raygada, said she and her children were forced to wait out the storm in their vehicle, “In that moment you don’t know what to do.”

When they finally made it home, they found the biggest tree in their yard… toppled over.

“It was scary, to be in this situation,” said Lake-Raygada.

Tree services were doing brisk business as homeowners called for help.

“We’re doing basically the tree service that’s necessary, stuff that’s on roofs, stuff that’s in driveways,” said Tree Master spokesman Casey Miller.

A downed tree after Wednesday's storms (credit: CBS)

A downed tree after Wednesday’s storms (credit: CBS)

Miller said it’s difficult to look at all the destruction.

“Trees are snapped, twisted off, a lot of them are on houses, a lot of them are in front yards,” said Miller.

Some of the debris that didn’t land on public property is ending up there anyway.

“They’re bringing it over on our areas and leaving it,” said one Parks and Rec crew member.

In Denver, regular trash service will pick up broken branches if bundled.

Additional Information From Denver Public Works:

Options for Denver residents

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Recycle broken branches (no longer than four feet in length and four inches in diameter), yard waste, organics and recyclables such as bottles, paper and cans at the Denver Public Works recycling drop-off center, located at Quebec and Cherry Creek Drive South.  Hours are:

  • Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


More tree branch disposal options:

Denver also provides limited branch pickup through its regular trash collection service:

  1. Trash cart and Manual service customers
  2. Tie loose branches in bundles no longer than 4 feet in length and weighing no more than 50 pounds. No branches may exceed 4 inches in diameter.  A maximum of 10 branch bundles per household will be collected per the overflow collection cycle(every 3 weeks).
  3. Do not place branches in your city issued black trash cart and place at least 2 feet away from black cart when setting bundles out for collection.

Dumpster Service Customers:

  1. Tie loose branches in bundles no longer than 4 feet in length and in bundles weighing no more than 50 pounds. No branches may exceed 4 inches in diameter.  A maximum of 5 bundles of branches can be placed in dumpsters at a time.
  2. Customers with more branches should hold those branches for their next LIP collection.   During LIP week, residents may place up to 10 branch bundles (meeting the above standard) in the alley, at least 4 feet from their dumpster.

Note: branches picked up through regular trash collection service will not be recycled.

More on broken branches:

  • Property owners are responsible for cleanup of debris from trees on private property and from trees within the public right of way adjacent to their property.
  • Property owners are responsible for the pruning needs of private property trees and the pruning needs of trees within the public right-of-way adjacent to their property.
  • If you have general questions about the condition of a public-right-of way tree, you can contact Denver Forestry for an opinion at
  • For trees on private property, citizens can visit a list of licensed and insured tree care contractors.  It’s a wise practice to make sure any tree care contractor is licensed and insured.
  • If emergency removal of a fallen branch is needed to clear a street, the city can assist though an established on-call contract; however, the cost of the work will be billed to the responsible property owner.


Additional Information From The City Of Aurora:

Residents may bring tree debris to Aurora’s Lowry Park:

11th Avenue and Dayton Street
1001 N. Dayton St.
Denver, CO 80230
(Parking lot near the event pavilion building)

City employees from Forestry, Parks & Public Works will continue to clean up tree limbs and downed trees on city properties like parks, recreation facilities, medians and arterial roadways, as well as city-owned trees on residential streets.

To find out if you have city-owned trees in your neighborhood, see our FAQ section at or call 303-739-7177.

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If residents would like to use their residential trash provider for limb removal, please contact your trash company to find out how branches should be prepared/bundled for pick up.