Monday, February 22, 2010

Fallen Cedars

The heavy snows damaged several of the large cedars at Blue Jay Barrens. Branches were broken from the bigger trees and many small cedars will have a permanent bend to their trunk. The added combination of a shallow root system and unfrozen ground beneath the snow caused many cedars to fall.

It’s hard to avoid the domino effect when large trees fall in the woods. The tree that is now flat out on the ground caught and scraped down the side of the tree leaning to the left. As it fell, the fallen tree scraped all the dead branches from a ten foot section of the leaning tree’s trunk.

As the leaning tree fell, it caught a third tree and caused it to fall. They are now both leaning against another tree that has to bear their weight along with its own. If left in this position, the next tree will soon develop a lean that will allow the sequence of falling trees to continue.

Now I have to deal with the opportunities resulting from this event. Those trees are large and the trunks will make good replacement supports for some of my older foot bridges. This site isn’t far from one of my established brush piles, so I won’t have to establish a new pile or drag the tops and branches a long distance for disposal.

The exciting part will be watching what plants develop in the sunlight entering through this new hole in the cedar canopy. It’ll also be interesting to see how the rest of the cedars respond to this sudden openness.

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