The city of Story City was recently honored with the 2017 Tree City USA Growth Award at the 28th Annual Community Forestry Awards Luncheon in Des Moines. The award was presented by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources April 4 at the Sheraton in West Des Moines.

“The Tree City USA award is a symbol for communities who have made a commitment to the management of public trees,” said Jeff Goerndt, state forester. “The city of Story City has provided an outstanding example for other Iowa communities by enhancing our forest resources and demonstrating the great value of trees in providing multiple benefits for future generations.”

Story City was one of 18 Iowa communities to qualify for Tree City USA Growth status. To receive the award, a city must, at a minimum, provide education and public relations; partnerships; planning and management; and tree planting and maintenance in their communities.

Story City Mayor Mike Jensen attended the luncheon and was presented with the award. Jensen is also president of Story City Trees Forever, which is conducting its 22nd annual Tree Sale on Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to noon at the former Lone Tree Nursery site.

The tree sale is a community betterment project, according to Jensen.

“All funds raised from this sale will be used to plant more trees in the Story City community,” Jensen said.

Each tree will be priced at $45, which is a small portion of the actual value, Jensen said. The trees will be sold on a first-come basis with a limit of two per household until 11 a.m. After 11 a.m., residents may purchase additional trees.

There are a few stipulations with the tree purchases: All trees must be planted within the city limits of Story City, either on private property or city property. Anyone wanting to plant on city property — such as the area outside the sidewalk — will need to obtain a permit at least one week prior to planting time; permits are free and available at City Hall. The permit process gives the city time to check for underground utility locations prior to any trees being planted.

This project is made possible through a grant from Story City’s natural gas supplier, Black Hills Energy, and matching funds from the city of Story City.

Once again, this year, a large variety of trees, small, medium and large will be available for sale.

“With the Emerald Ash Borer now confirmed here in Story City it is even more important that we plant many varieties of trees throughout our community,” Jensen said. “Now is a great time to plant a new tree on your property.

“Healthy trees equal healthy people. Keep planting more trees.”



(Generally larger than 40 feet in height at maturity)

Heritage oak, swamp white oak, fire fall maple, Valley Forge elm, hackberry, Kentucky coffee espresso tree, green spire linden, royal red maple and prairie dream birch.


(Generally between 20 feet and 40 feet in height at maturity)

Spring snow crabapple, northern red bud, northern acclaim honeylocust, harvest gold linden, blue beech, ironwood, autumn brilliance service berry and Amur cherry.


(Generally shorter than 20 feet in height at maturity)

Ann magnolia, Leonard Messel magnolia, royal raindrops crabapple, perfect purple crabapple and Amur flame maple.