Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Yesterday I grabbed a few pictures of fallen trees off the internet.  In the next few days, hundreds will appear and many will inadvertently reveal that the trees that fell are rotted on the interior.
[update:  video added at the end!]

This first one had the amusing caption:  A gust just took a tree on 22nd and 7th.  Weird, it's not that windy yet.  #Sandy #nyc #unpredictable

This one fell at Boston College early in the day, severed from its roots at the base...and the tree below, hit by a train, had been dead so long it didn't even have any bark.
Here's what I found in my driveway this morning.

 It's an ash tree.
 Three others are barely hanging onto other branches further towards the road.
 When they fall you can see just how covered the high branches are with lichen.
 I climbed over the big ash with my umbrella to take a walk up to the village.
 Several houses have generators.  I had no idea they are so noisy.
 Having the power go out is annoying but at least you used to get a wonderful natural quiet.
Now the air is filled with the racket and stink of generators.  People have figured out that we can expect long periods without power from trees downed in storms.  They just haven't figured out why so many trees fall.  Here's one neighbors yard - his trees are so laden with lichen they look ghostly pale.
A large branch from a honey locust lays on the wire.  Wires are down in every direction, I discovered.
 When I got into the village I started seeing fallen trees right away.
 This center of this maple was black with rot.

 The leaves have the classic stippled look of stomates damaged from absorbing air pollution.
 They should have turned a bright orange, or perhaps red.
My friend Fawn was even more unlucky than me - her neighbor's tree landed on her house, breaking windows.
 The insides of the branches were rotted.
 But the most spectacular scene was further up in Oldwick in front of the pastor's house.
I should have grabbed one of the many gawkers to have them stand next to the tree for a picture because it's hard to convey how enormous it is.

 The entire thing was covered in lichen.
 The leaves were also damaged from ozone.

The center of the root system was black with rot and the flat white shreds are some sort of fungus.
 The oak that is still standing lost about half of its trunk.
 The little branches that came down had lichen AND fungus.
 The interior is clearly rotted.

One of a long row of pines that are painfully thin on Lamington Road came down.
So many of their needles had turned yellow, and they fell off in the storm, plastering the road.
My laptop battery is about to die so I haven't time to say much, and judging from the many impassable roads and lines I saw down, power will not be restored any time soon.  Like Irene, which was mostly a disaster due to heavy rains and inland flooding, Sandy's main impact has been the storm surge along the coast.  The winds in both cases weren't that extraordinary, and yet the falling trees and resulting loss of power in both cases were huge.  Once again, people have died from a falling tree - two parents in Mendham, a nearby town, right in front of their children who were inside their pickup truck at the time...what a horror they will never forget.  When will people figure out that trees are dying from ozone pollution?  Maybe never.  They'll stupidly think it's just, um, weird.


  1. Hey Gail, cool photos. Glad you made it through the storm safely.

    Surprisingly, down here in the DC area the tree damage appears to have been less than might have been expected, but that's probably because so many weakened trees had already been downed by the derecho a few months ago.

  2. You make an excellent point Bill Hicks.

  3. Not so bad in MA and NH, just branches, not trees, power restored in the morn, 3 1/4 inches of rain.

  4. we will rebuild. we will buy new cars. we will buy more stuff. we are strong, we are mighty. we will make all this "normal" again.
    what a stupid governor that christie:“Now we’ve got a big task ahead of us that we have to do together,” Christie said. “This is the kind of thing New Jerseyans are built for – we’re plenty tough and now we have a little more reason to be angry after this. Just what we need in New Jersey, a chance to be a little more angry.”

    A little more angry? And where are the resources going to come from to rebuild, and rebuild, and rebuild?

    this is all so insane.


Blog Archive

My Blog List

Search This Blog