|boat in a front yard|
|dock at your back door|
Downed power lines danced… Streetlights were down and so were the trees…
Oh the heartbreak of the trees.
|This is one side of turf & Italian marble parking court damaged by rain & cars. We remade these|
|WTF! That spot after homeowners CUT down More trees that led to landslide and closed road!|
|Tree slaughter should be a crime|
We volunteered feeding first responders in Atlantic Highlands and helped clean up and tear out walls at homes in the Highlands.
|boat seekers on our terrace wall|
Our first few days working in two different gardens we noticed small, exotic, tropical blue and yellow birds!
|Planting bulbs in front yard=easy|
One wrong turn off the back garden bed and you’re in the bay!
Overall, major clean up needed to be done.
|sea grass stuck in hollies|
|sea debris covers lawn/yard|
|"Face" of super storm Sandy|
But we had much work to do. And a diminishing window of opportunity.
The only people allowed on the curfewed-Sea Bright barrier island once it was opened, were the professionals. The National Guard stopped every car on the bridges into the town.
|Dennis filling up the water canister backpack|
I joked with the homeowners that they now had a Petticoat Junction kind of outdoor bathtub!
The biodynamic nutrients I sourced from Josephine Porter Institute for Applied Bio-Dynamics, Inc., following more networking from my hort friends and associates.
- In general, homeowners do not invest in tree pruning and maintenance. Consequently, trees are at risk.
- Trimming is best, according to PSE&G. Crown Thinning allows wind to flow through the tree vs. ripping the tree up or out as a result of wind damage. Prune crossed branches – not more than 25-30%. Practice selective pruning of live foliage. If the crown is not pruned properly using approved "Arboriculture” management and maintenance – a destructive phenomenon called “Lion-tail” occurs which is gutting the middle of the tree or pruning out the interior branches and leaves, with only the leaves at the end of the branches, creating heavier branches more prone to severe elements damage. Once that happens, "We have a lot less to work with to get the tree back in shape," noted the panel. Tapering is how trees grow to keep it up right. Prune hazardous growth.
- Use Certified Arborists. Employ Certified Arborists at least every few years. Work together to assess and plan a maintenance program to fit needs and budget. View tree care as long-term investment. Have Arborists conduct Tree Risk Evaluation and inventory.
- Check the tree’s root zone
- Monitor the trees and shrubs that are in a compromised state, as pathogens will take advantage.
- An overabundance of exotic trees rather than natives is used in garden design. The result is that when extreme weather strikes, the exotics don’t have the coping mechanisms to allow survival.
- There is a lack of tree groves. There are more specimen trees. This makes a tree more vulnerable, more susceptible to damage. Tree stands are a buffer. (Safety in numbers works here too…)
- Climate Change, as marked by extreme weather has become the new normal. I heard Al Gore talking about his new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change; tell Matt Lauer that the daily weather reports now sound more like biblical pronouncements. According to panelist Kevin Kenney, Local Manager, Bartlett Tree Experts, Elmsford NY, “Over the last four years we’ve experienced record high winds: F4 tornadoes clocked in at more than 130 mph.” He continued the disaster litany: “Last spring was the rainiest. Ever. Then the driest summer. Ever. In 2011, the wettest August on record. Ever.” He added, head shaking, “This is a normally dry month.”
- Droughts are as damaging as the heavy rains. Roots need to be watered, and slowly, during dry spells. Drip irrigation is preferred to encourage deep roots and more stability.
- Irrigation systems have trained trees to not develop deep roots to look for water. Over-irrigation creates lateral roots vs. deep roots; foliated trees. This can create small, feeder roots like strands of hair; big roots probably never make it past the drip line, resulting in weak foundation and/or root rot. Newer or newer”ish” trees that grew up under these circumstances have spreading, shallow roots. The trees are more readily and easily upended in a storm.
- Sea salt was aggressively deposited far inland. All plant material needed to be washed. The conifers and white pine needles have browned as a result of the salt, continuing to damage the conifers.
- The panel cited too many big trees are planted in too-small spaces, e.g. 60-90’ oak trees are wedged into 3’ green space between a sidewalk and street because the homeowner wants shade. Not enough spaces for roots to grow out.
- Big, lawn-mowing machines do damage to trees (and shrubs and plants) because the machines pack the soil. In the same way, post-storm construction work can adversely affect the health of plants. Make certain to manage the equipment and work to safeguard the horticulture.
- Planting trees for spring suggestions include low-growing redbud, dogwood, holly, and juniper. Consider planting stand or a grove of trees. And native trees.