Sioux Falls officials say Ceres, the company hired for branch and debris cleanup after the April ice and snow storm, had hauled 4,971 tons of material as of Wednesday morning.

Also, TFR, the company hired for arborist work, had removed 8,006 hazardous hanging branches and 169 trees.

That's why the branch piles at the four drop-off sites are, in some cases, six stories high.

Ceres is making its second pass through the city, and officials have been asking residents to not park in front of branch piles.

But nearly 5,000 TONS of branches!

Our city will not be as leafy as usual this summer, or in the foreseeable future.

I know we still have many, many trees left, thank goodness, but as the old saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.

And the second-best time to plant one is now.