sprucedown.jpgWow – the night of April 2 and early morning of April 3 delivered some scary wind gusts in our area. One reported gust was 88 mph, and there were plenty that were in excess of 50 mph. This kind of wind really tests all of our old trees. And at this time of year, the evergreens are especially tested as they still have all their needles and can catch more wind with their bulk than the still-leafless deciduous trees.

So the trees in Monument Valley Park had a pretty tough time of it. In addition to the handful of trees that either toppled completely or lost major branches, some trees had bark blown off of them! Granted, those that had bark blown off were either already suffering or were possibly already dead (being left up as habitat for woodpeckers and other wildlife).

Check out this 50-plus year-old blue spruce that came down in the Horticultural Art Society’s demonstration garden at the corner of Cache la Poudre and Glen. While other spruces in the area snapped off at some point on their trunks, this one just heaved out of the ground completely. We found old glass pieces (bottles, etc) embedded in some of the rootball as well as in the dirt below. Apparently this area of the park was used as a garbage dump a long time ago. An adjacent ponderosa pine lost the top eight feet of its trunk, possibly when it was hit by the spruce as it went down.
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ashdown.jpgAnd here is an ash tree in the northern part of the park. Despite not having any leaves yet, its exposed position up along the western-most trail left it vulnerable and it lost several major branches. It looks like it had a split trunk, which always increases a tree’s chance of being damaged by wind or very heavy snow.