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Stump of Black Locust that was falling over

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the big ice storm that hit eastern Ontario, Quebec, and parts of the northeast U.S. in 1998. For many of us, it was a pretty awful experience — the loss of a lot of trees and also a very prolonged power outage. Our farm was without power for almost 2 weeks. When I think of the storm, I clearly recall the sound of trees breaking from the weight of the ice. Our farm was adjacent to a woodlot with a lot of Poplar and those trees were totally destroyed by the ice. For about 2 days, there was a steady cracking and crashing sound like gunshots every few seconds as the trees broke apart. Seeing what happened to the trees and to the power grid has made me quite wary of “hazard trees” that could break or lose limbs onto power lines.

Last year, I had 3 worrisome trees cut down on my property — I hated to see them go, but all of them were losing limbs or starting to lean over toward the power lines. This past week, 5 hazard trees were cut down on my neighbour’s property — all of them within striking distance of the shared power line to our houses. Again, I hated to see them go and it has totally changed to feel in the front yard, but the trunks of 3 of the trees had been looped together with a cable at some time to stabilize them and support a clothesline pole. The cable had cut well through the trunks of the trees as they grew. The tree nearest the power line was leaning way over and lost a couple of limbs onto the line last winter — I had to go out and knock them off the line with a long stick — and the last one — a massive tree, had tipped far over during Hurricane Dorian a few years back so it was leaning and gradually falling toward the power lines.

The arborists were here for most of last week cutting down the trees – they did a good job – working carefully as all the trees were near the power line. They hauled away at least 8 loads of trunks and branches in a large trailer and pick up truck box. It was a pretty huge job, but now the power lines should be clear of any potential disasters. This afternoon, I photographed the stumps which are all that remains. It’s easy to see why the massive tree tipped over during Dorian. Most of the heart of it was rotted away. The tree near the power line that was dropping limbs onto it last winter had quite a bit of hollow in the Center as well. It was also splitting apart at the top and was leaning almost onto the line.
I must say I’m feeling quite relieved now that all of the hazard trees are gone. With the kinds of storms we are having in recent years, it’s become a case of not if, but when they would fall onto a power line.


Written by Administrator on January 9th, 2023

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