Breaking (under) the Ice
The ice has melted, wind has died down, and there is a lot of wood piled up by the side of the road. Many folks are at the point where they’re sizing up what’s left of their trees and shrubs, and making decisions saving or replacing them. There have been some helpful columns written on just that subject lately. Here are some you might want to read:
* Extension Horticulture Agent Annette Meyer Heisdorffer wrote an article about Restoration Pruning for the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, with ideas from University of Kentucky Professor William Fountain about what to look for with damaged branches.
*The U.K. College of Agriculture also provided a similar story in Aimee Nielson’s Ice Storm Dealt Brutal Blow to Landscape Trees in the Ag News; it is also based on Fountain’s advice.
*U.S. Ag Net offers information from U.K. Forestry Specialist Doug McLaren, in its Ice-Damaged Woodlands will Benefit from Professional Assessment story. The viewpoint from a forestry expert includes woodland management information.
* Not much of a consolation, however there may be an opportunity to check for the presence of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer in broken limbs. Jennifer Stewart’s article in PhysOrg.com may be helpful.
*Walking in the woods, or even under trees lining streets in your neighborhood, remember to look up to learn where branches are still hanging, ready to drop on unsuspecting hikers or parked cars. See what Larry Lowe had so say about woodland hazards for outdoor activities in the Louisville Courier- Journal.
* Fayette County Horticulture Extension Agent Jamie Dockery gives some good advice about how to go about pruning a tree in his Frankfort State-Journal article, After the Ice Storm: How to Save Damaged Plants. His advice about avoiding power lines is something we all need to heed.
*One of the most useful “What to do” guides on this subject is the joint Illinois and Wisconsin State University extension publication Trees and Ice Storms: The Development of Ice Storm-Resistant Urban Tree Populations, complete with color photos of scenes most of us would like to forget, but need to remember to reduce potential for future damage.