Ice Storm & NY Maples

Larry Caldwell larryc at
Fri Jan 23 19:24:28 EST 1998

In article <34C8077F.C4923C2F at>,
"J. Fiske" <jfiske at> wrote:

> That's the point ... it's not just limb loss. Some of these old mother-huggers are
> split from stem to stern, or just plain fell down from all the extra weight in the
> crown. Even the ones with "just" limb loss are subject to all kinds of fungus and
> rot invasion (remember Dr. Shigo?) and degrade from same.

Yeah, if the trunk is split the tree is probably headed for firewood.  I've
had a little success bolting trees back together when the owner really
wanted it saved, but the inner wood never heals.  Eventually the bolts will
rust out and the tree will fall in half.  It will work for 20 or 30 years,
> Look, please take my word for it, I've been a field forester in New York for over
> twenty years. This ain't just media hype, we have now and will have for the short
> term future, a pretty fair size problem.

So how long does it take a sugar maple to grow a new crown?  

For sure, you have a mess.  I've seen the aftermath of storms like that.
You can't even walk through the woods because of all the branches on the
ground.  Lots of the trees need TLC that they will never get because they
are inaccessable, or there are just too many of them.

> Long term, of course, the successional pathway for this part of the country is to
> forest of one flavor or another (don't have a lot of native prarie in New York). I
> don't think anything short of a drastic shift in climate is going to change that!

I'm not sure there is any such thing as native prairie.  Buffalo killed off
all the trees on the Great Plains.  Wildlife Safari has several plains
buffalo here in western Oregon, and you wouldn't believe how much damage
they do to trees.  They go out of their way to kill trees.  And of course,
the oak savannah of the west coast was created by diligent arson on the
part of the native Indians over thousands of years.  

If the wheat farmers ever go broke, it won't be a hundred years before folks
are talking about the "great Kansas forest."
-- Larry

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