Gale warnings for tonight have got me thinking about falling trees..... Are there any types of tree which are more likely than others to fall in storms? Do soil conditions make a difference?
My secret spot is in a mixed forest which I guess was planted a hundred or so years ago and not really looked after since. It's got a lot of Ash and Norway Spruce and those two seem to be the most common on the ground too. So is it just statistics that mean they are the fallers or something about the species.
Self interest here because my secret spot with debris shelter is in amongst a clump of mature Norway Spruce, in a clearing caused by a faller......
The most dangerous trees are things like your Oak which can be hollow inside and yet externally look quite solid. Where I live we get alot of beech blow downs and Ash (being fairly straight grained) tends to loose major limbs.
Soil can make a difference to but only if the trees growing in it arent deep rooted and mature enough to stand the rigours of the wind.
Jake may be able to shed more light on this however.
As for tony's question on the other topic - fallen trees still belong to the land owner so again watch the byelaws etc.
As far as I am aware Beech is the most common to blow down in storms. They grow very tall but seem to have a very shallow root bowl, + they prefer the lighter chalk soils, so never get a good anchorage. Perhaps this is why they are not a native of our shores?
Gary - those hollow oaks are some of the longest lived trees in the forest because the don't tend to blow down. Being hollow they are less rigid so tend to give and twist rather than tumble. They also tend to be a bit stunted so have a lower centre of gravity i suppose. But beware they do have a nasty habit of shedding limbs !
I still haven't got in the habit of checking for dead limbs before camping under trees.
That brings back memories. Many years ago as the winds picked up and evening forecast muttered about gales, my Dad made a torchlight tour of the garden just to make sure his shed was still there. Next morning, the back garden was decorated with assorted dead branches from a neighbour's tree. 3 and 4 inch diameter, impaled like stakes !
He had a lucky escape and I learned not to sleep out under old, tired trees.
Take care. Alick
Jack was kind enough to point out the fallen limbs in the Wood he,s currently working.
These all seemed to be large healthy looking Oak trees. The limbs had all blown down in storms, and were of considerable girth. The weight of them being so massive that they had just sheered with the force of the wind.
So i guess Oak trees are out too?
Personally i think avoid camping in the woods in a storm. If you have to best stick to the saplings, as you have a better chance of survival!
But then you could get run over by a bus tomorrow. I know which way I'd rather go out.
In Sweden we have some problems with spruce because if the grow closely they spread a root disease witch makes the root rot.. This is a problem in dense populations. Always after a storm I have to go out and take care of fallen spruce, lots of work with the chainsaw.. phew!
I am doing a photographcic project for SWT at Loch Libo and there is a woodland on the side of the hill beside the Loch. The trees in this wood are falling at an alarming rate. I am there about once a week and in a small wood there is at least one new large tree down every time I visit. The soil is wet and a lot of the trees are dead but when they fall they frequently take a live one with them.
Last week when I was there there was a slight rustle as a gentle breaze came by and a large tree fell behind me, about 60 yards away. I was quite shaken and have been a bit nervious in that wood ever since. I was amazed that such a small breeze would put such a large tree over, even a dead one. The tree was in excess of 10 m high.
Many years ago, while fishing the north fork of the Shoshone River the wind came up. This is normally a pleasant thing. To hear the trees talk in the wind. This day things were a bit different. I waded across to a large sand bar so I could fish both sides of the river. My tracks left big divots in the dark gray silt. As I cast into a stream opening I heard a slow groan. Kind of like a huge door slamming shut. iwatched as a huge ponderose pine shifted it weight. It had been standing on the edge of the river. The water had eaten it's way under the tree until the earth could no longer sutain the tree. It crashed down across the river and onto the sand bar. It was an incredible thing! As I stood there in awe, I looked at the tree. It had slammed into the ground and obliterated my tacks nopt twenty feet away.