Thursday, June 14, 2012

Still Recovering from Wet Spring Snow Damage

The pruning crew is busy propping up young White Pines which were severely and permanently leaned over by the late spring snows.  We'll never get to them all but we'll try to recover some.

It doesn't take very many days for the tree to stiffen back up in a vertical position, but it won't straighten out on its own.  The method we use is to scavenge the forest floor for strong poles which have crotches or stub limbs which will hook the branches of the White Pine somewhere at mid-height.  Then straighten the White Pine tree and jamb the butt end of the pole  into the ground,  securing it with a solid downward kick.  It works amazingly well.

This particular bending damage to the White Pine is different than the frequent and temporary bending of the young trees due to moderately heavy and wet snows.  In frozen ground and normal to heavy snow load conditions, the White Pines lean over and then straighten back up quickly.  But in "once in a decade" type of heavy wet snow, along with wet/thawed soil conditions, the roots will loosen and the tree will lay over permanently without assistance.  Even if the roots don't pop,  the stem of the tree is deformed beyond natural recovery.

The same snowstorm(s) affected the Paper Birch.  (see photo to the right)  We didn't attempt to recover many of those, although I'm sure the same method we used on the White Pine will work on the Birch.

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