Monday, December 10, 2007

Would You Like Ice with That?

Well no, but frankly "no ice please" is not an available choice this week. We're nearing the end of a second day of freezing rain (about halfway through this storm), and our exciting Oklahoma weather has made the national news again. One third of the state has no power at the moment, with the estimated time of power being restored as much as a week out for a lot of people. We've got power for the moment, and friends who are less fortunate staying with us. The roads range between unsatisfactory and awful, and the trees are falling all around us. Outside of the major highways, anywhere the roads are not quite horrid the curbside lane is likely to be blocked by a fallen tree or low hanging or broken branches.

This little tree is in my neighbor's front yard. I took the picture this morning. By the time I got home this afternoon nearly all of the branches had broken off at the trunk. Part of the problem with tree damage is the type of landscape plants chosen. While this scale of ice storm like this is extreme, significant storms are not unheard of. Some trees fare better than others in these circumstances. Most of the ones that do poorly are not native to this climate. Many have earned their popularity by being fast growing (flimsy), or having a rounded growth habit ( with weak crotches which break under ice). Of course with a storm like this even the toughest of native trees suffers damage.

At my office we had a lot of Bradford Pear trees. While beautiful, they are not especially long lived, as the branches become prone to splitting and the branching angle makes them vulnerable to splitting. These were nice small trees eleven years ago when I came to this job. Most of them are not going to make it. Oddly enough, although less than half of the office made it to work today, several people thought that it might be a good idea to park under these trees! You have to wonder what people are thinking. Fortunately they moved the cars after lunch when the rain continued to fall. I hate to see the trees damaged like this, and I hope we replace them with something a little more suitable.

1 comment:

Anne P said...

Bradford Pears are pretty in the spring, but not very practical most of the rest of the year. Stay safe and warm!