Friday, April 8, 2011

Tree Down

Blue Jay Barrens has recently suffered through several rains storms accompanied by exceptionally high winds. Saturated soils and strong winds usually result in some large trees being blown over. I have a theory that falling trees have a way of aiming for the one spot where they will cause the biggest problem. So far, I’ve found two trees that have recently fallen. One large brute smacked down on top of the property line fence and this guy managed to block one of my most used walking trails.
This tree really knew what it was doing. It managed to fall in just the right place to block a second walking trial with its upper branches.
A few shrubs got mashed by the falling tree. Fortunately, there were no other large trees in the line of fall. When a tree falls, the safest situation is when it makes it all the way to the ground. A fallen tree that gets hung up in another tree is just a mass of potential energy waiting to mangle the unsuspecting land manager.
The tree was almost dead and I really don’t mind having a nice big tree laying beside the creek. Once it settles to the ground, it’ll make a wonderful place for salamanders. The creek bank doesn’t seem to be adversely affected by the fallen of the tree. Flood waters sometimes get out of bank here and the tree is going to force the water back toward the creek. I’ll have to wait and see if this causes any accelerated erosion around that root mass.
Sometime between now and early July I’ll have to take a section out of the trunk so it doesn’t block the trail. I say July because that’s when I typically bring DR Brush out to do a little mid-summer cutting of the trails. It looks like there’s a lot of rotten wood in there, so the job shouldn’t be too difficult.
Decomposing wood from the center of the trunk has been filtering down to form a pile of ash-like material at the base. This material is incredibly dry and appears to never have experienced moisture. It was quite a neat thing to see. It won’t be long until wind and rain make it all disappear.
The horizontal tree makes a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the view of the creek. Maybe I’ll take advantage of this feature in the future. This time I only sat long enough to get a picture of my feet, but they do look like pretty relaxed feet.


  1. This has been a busy spring for falling trees around here, too. I like to check out the newly exposed root section for relics from times past. I've turned up a couple arrow heads that way.

  2. You should have some good firewood on your property, too. Even with our city property we manage to keep pretty well stocked with firewood.

  3. Hi, Nellie. I've never found any artifacts here. They're probably around, but the ground is so littered with rock bits that they're well camouflaged.

    There's no shortage of firewood here, Lois. I get plenty just from the trees and branches that fall near the yard.