It was alas too easy to find photos of trees that fell over revealing rotted interiors. Even when rot isn't obvious, they all have the green lichen spreading on their bark.
Unless captioned with other sources, these photos come from a very useful blog, A Walk in the Park NYC, which announced that overall the city has lost tens of thousands of trees.
Note that both very large old trees, like the one above, and young trees, like the one below, often have rotted trunks. Trees of all ages, in all locations are dying from pollution and that fact, not what one commenter described as the "almost sedate" winds of Sandy, is the reason they are falling over...and the reason so many people far from coastal areas that received the brunt of the storm are left without power, for so long...a week and counting at Wit's End!
Excerpts from the aforementioned New York Parks blog:
* Central Park. The current estimate is that approximately 300 trees were destroyed and over 250 were damaged by the storm.
* Prospect Park. Over 300 hundred trees are down or so badly damaged that they will be taken down for safety. There were over 100 hanging limbs and , almost 1, 000 large branches and limbs are down or damaged.
* Fort Tryon Park - Manhattan. Over 100 trees have been damaged or destroyed.
Total Tree Calls: The total storm-related service requests is 15,837; of these requests, 10,326 were for Trees Down according to the Parks Department.
According to the Prospect Park Alliance the damage to Prospect Park from Hurricane Sandy far exceeds what any storm has done to the Park in the 25 year history of the Alliance. Over 300 hundred trees are down or so badly damaged that they will be taken down for safety. There were over 100 hanging limbs and almost 1,000 large branches and limbs are down or damaged.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2012
Brooklyn sweethearts Jacob Vogelman, 23 and Jessie Streich-Kest, 24, were killed by a fallen tree while walking their dog near E. 18th Street and Ditmas Avenue. In Flushing Queens a man was killed when a tree - that neighbors asked the Parks Department to remove last month - crashed through his bedroom.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2012
Notice, this woman was hit by a falling branch, on Monday morning well before Sandy arrived, which was Monday NIGHT. Well, for that matter, a tourist from New Zealand was killed by a falling branch in Kew Gardens in September! when wind was gusting up to, uh, 30 mph.
I couldn't find what sort of tree it was, but the anticipation that a lethal fungus which has already swept Europe is expected to spread to all 90 million ash trees in Britain is creating a furor there, and articles are pouring out of their newspapers papers like this one (linked to in comments by Michele, thank you!) titled: Most UK ash trees will be diseased within 10 years, ministers told...Dieback disease may spread 20 miles a year, crisis meeting hears as calls grow for quarantines, bans and plant passports.
Here are a couple of revealing excerpts from the responses of "experts" - which is to blame invasives and call for quarantines and bans:
"'There is a tidal wave of pathogens coming in. It is terrifying.' said Martin Ward, chief plant health officer at Defra's Food and Environment Research Agency."
"Joan Webber, principal pathologist at Forest Research, the research agency of the UK Forestry Commission, said: 'There have been more outbreaks of diseases in the past 10 years than we had in the whole of the last century. These organisms reinvent themselves when they move into an unknown habitat. Plants have little or no resistance to them. It can happen very quickly.' She urged anyone going into woods to clean their boots and to ask nurseries to be more vigilant for diseases."
It's important that even though the story is ostensibly about ash dieback, they are not just talking about one species but rather "a tidal wave of pathogens." These pronouncements are INSANE. England had colonies all around the globe and has maintained a brisk trade with them for centuries. Charles Darwin, for god's sake, brought all sorts of samples of plants back; the New World supplied Europe with shipload after shipload of lumber - they essentially denuded the great forests of the East Coast and much of it wound up in Europe; all sorts of agricultural crops have been exchanged; the extensive arboretums that are the pride of the English Isles have been abundantly planted with exotic specimens due to their mild hospitable climate from ALL OVER THE WORLD and NOW, SUDDENLY - in the "last ten years" - all hell is breaking loose because of invasive species????
British nurserymen don't have the emerald borer to blame like US foresters do, even in areas where there are no borers, so they blame a fungus, which is what is blamed for the dying kauri trees in New Zealand. This is all so stupid! Fungus is colonizing trees everywhere, because that's what fungus does when trees are dying.
There was a comparison between Sandy and Katrina using various metrics which made for some interesting comments. In response to this analysis, one person notes correctly that the wind strength was not particularly strong...but then blames falling trees on rain even though it didn't rain that much inland, certainly not an unprecedented amount:
"The storm system was huge in diameter, over a 1000 miles, but that was all that made this "epic", as the winds were almost sedate compared to other typhoons/hurricanes/cyclones. The Northeast was unprepared and had grown complacent, forgetting that every place in the world experiences a "100 Year" weather event, as evidenced with that amusement park (with a rollercoaster) sitting on a pier that jutted out into the ocean."
- Mike , Marshall, 04/11/2012 04:14
The original version had this comment:
"Living just north of NYC, I was amazed at the level of destruction Sandy brought considering it was a Category 1. For those of us who aren't interested in politicizing everything, this was very educational." It certainly was an amazing amount of destruction, especially considering it wasn't even a Cat1!