Killer trees in Freehold NJ made the news with a devastating storm that came through late Saturday night. The storm only lasted about 20 minutes with winds about 65 mph. Many homes were crushed from falling trees.
Note what was once a garage behind the trash can above.
The photo below is the same house with branches removed.
As you see these trees are gigantic. Many of them were planted by the WPA during the Great Depression. Most of the lower branches rise above a 2 1/2 story house. I was very lucky this time. I had absolutely NO damage.
I refer to these trees as KILLER TREES because that is how a lot of residents now feel about them. As I walked around town taking photos, I would hear so many people saying that these trees are too dangerous, the sidewalks are in bad shape from their roots, etc. Yes, it’s so sad to see the damage these trees have caused to the numerous homes in town and my heart goes out to these homeowners.
My heart also goes out to the trees. These beautiful trees, part of history, add charm to the town. Their large branches shade the street from the hot summer sun. Without these trees, it would be like living in a hot parking lot. These trees are NOT Killer Trees but victims of nature and global warming as the homeowners are.
Maintain your trees and keep them trim and healthy and hope they can stand strong when the winds blow. If when you walk and the sidewalk is uneven –don’t get annoyed – just learn to walk more carefully.
I am writing this to hopefully ease the anger against these trees and hope there is not a mad rush after the storm to have them all chopped down for fear of the next storm.
Update: The town is removing close to 200 trees that are healthy but are a potential hazzard in the event of a hurricane. Many people moved to this town because of the beautiful trees. The town’s Shade Tree Commission will now plant ornamental trees that will instead of growing high so the leaves shade the house, will grow low so the leaves block the view of the house.
Killer trees and my car
You may think that it is easy for me to say since I was lucky enough not to have any damage. Yes – I lucked out this time. But other times I did not. Check out the photos below.
Classic 1979 Mercury Cougar. Always in the garage. Driven less than 100 miles a year. For some reason I left it outside during this storm. A branch from a Box Elder fell on it and crushed it. I had a tree doctor prune and balance it out but did not remove it. It was still a great tree. It lasted several more years until the rest of it came down in a storm without any damage.
See how low it weighed down the car. I was happy the white wall tires were nice and clean for this photo. The car was restored and remains in the garage today.
Another attack of killer trees.
Another time my neighbors tree fell onto my telephone pole which fell onto my Mulberry Tree (a replacement for the Box Elder). The transformer caught the tree on fire. The block was without power for 3 days.
Note my red car under the branches and the tree across the street. I don’t blame the tree, I blame the weather. I still love large trees and wouldn’t have it any other way.
So my best wishes go out to those who have experienced problems with their trees. Don’t be angry at the tree. Try to imagine your neighborhood without them.
When a tree is planted, it is really a gift to the next generation.
UPDATE to this article resulting from more devastation from Hurricane Sandy.
Check out this blog – very interesting information about why all these trees are falling on wires and creating power outages. What Happened to the Power?
I feel your pain. We had a bad storm last Labor Day weekend (Pleasant Ridge, MI) that took down many trees in the neighborhood that is a designated historic area. We didn’t have much damage in our yard, but our next door neighbor lost 10 trees causing us to lose power for about a week. Luckily their house was spared and only the fencing, driveway and other minor structures (gazebo, pond, etc.) were destroyed.
Sadly, after all of the required cleanup was done, I saw several large, approximately 80 year old, seemingly healthy trees being cut down. Disappointingly, both of the crews that I asked indicated that the only reason that they were being cut down was that the homeowner asked them to, and that in their opinion the trees were in fine shape and should be left. (It wasn’t all bad as the city has a fund that has allowed it to plant many trees along the streets.)
Hopefully any trees that made it through the storm will be saved from the saw in your town.