Monday, October 16, 2006


I am sure that many of the bloggers out there have heard about our freak storm by now. But I doubt many of the news reports are dwelling on its most lasting—and calamitous—effects. It’s one thing to be without power for a few days, which, honestly, is not a big deal, given the mild temps and the fact that gas stoves, candles, flashlights, generators, grills, and such make everyday life a bit of an adventure, but doable.

This is a garden blog, however, so I’m not here to talk of such matters. I will say that it’s going to take Buffalo and probably much of Erie County a very long time to recover from the damage to its tree canopy caused by this storm. In the sixties, Dutch elm disease denuded many streets in the area. This time, there’s been no discrimination. Older, more brittle trees have suffered, but so did the relatively young Asian elms along Bidwell and Lincoln Parkways, two of the city’s most beautiful streets, each distinguished by central medians and gracious setbacks, all lined with trees. Both were designed by Frederick Olmsted to provide pleasant avenues for carriages and equestrians.

This is what they looked like during the first drive I’ve been able to take.

Because of the medians, which seem to have been planted at the same time and with the same trees, the destruction is shockingly consistent.

Smaller residential streets throughout the area have also suffered, but it isn’t as noticeable. I’ve often heard photographers complain that our street is impossible to shoot during summer and early fall—they won’t have that complaint next year. Wouldn’t you know it though, the two Norway maples in front of my house—the same ones often vilified in this blog—are just fine, virtually unharmed. But I feel sorry for those who are cleaning up messes like this:

Having read some comments on my other posts, I would like to clarify a few things. I enjoy the weather here and would take a few snowstorms over hurricanes (south), tornadoes (midwest) or earthquakes (west)—any day. We usually don't see any serious snow until late December, when you want to see it, and I am sure what we have now will be melted in a couple days. I'm really only expressing my concern over the trees, which I do feel is a possible tragedy. We'll see once the debris is cleared away


Carol said...

You are right, news reports don't really have the impact of your pictures. Good luck with all the clean up.

And, yes, here in the midwest, tornadoes can pop up and can be quite scary. We've had a few nearby in the last few years.

Annie in Austin said...

I've seen that kind of destruction and loss of canopy after ice storms in the midwest - it was winter so there was less loss then to deciduous trees, but many tall old evergreens were so wrecked they had to be completely removed.

That's pretty funny about the Norway Maples - they survived just to spite you, I guess.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

LostRoses said...

Yikes, those pictures really show the story behind the headlines. You're right, we heard about the storm and saw a few pictures but the after-effects really are devastating. We lost thousands of trees here after a similar storm several years ago but today a newcomer would never know it. Take heart!

lisa said...

In my guilt, I must admit that I've used the stories of your storms to feel better about our weather...and I sure can't complain about having to trim my trees, cuz' if the wind did it, well...I'd likely be dead from the branches hanging over my house. So while I thank God for small and large favors for me, I'll thank Him for the ones bestowed upon you, too...after all, you are still blogging...good luck with the cleanup!

lindsey the landscaping and gardening expert said...

oh this is terrible to see, we recently has a cyclong...well 8 months ago now, and still have so many trees down...although they are palm trees