Garden trees: tornado damage

by Pippa Greenwood

[...] the other day a tornado arrived (yes, a real tornado) and I sat in the bay window, gawping silently. It was like watching two minutes of a particularly scary Hollywood film.

Pippa GreenwoodI'm not usually lost for words, but the other day a tornado arrived (yes, a real tornado) and I sat in the bay window, gawping silently. It was like watching two minutes of a particularly scary Hollywood film.

The huge horse chestnut tree opposite the window proved more flexible than expected, but its branches and limbs were bent near horizontal, streams of golden leaves shooting past. But it was mainly oaks that were hit near me. One of ours literally de-limbed, with just one limb of about 30cm diameter left on the tree, but rotated through 180°.

In a nearby field the path of destruction was even clearer. Numerous beautiful mature oaks suffered serious damage. Some remain untouched but many had limbs piled beneath them, or their entire crowns were wrecked.

I now realise how lucky we are not to experience such extreme weather on a regular basis - and I'll certainly be bending the ear of BBC weatherman and Gardeners' Question Time chairman, Peter Gibbs!

Seeing the damage to these fantastic oaks makes me want to weep. Most will be felled, and those that remain will look butchered. Perhaps the most worrying thing of all is that there are no middle-aged, up-and-coming replacements. It will be a very long time indeed before the field looks the same - perhaps it never will.

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Gardeners' World Web User 18/11/2009 at 12:41

How dreadful to hear of these devastatingly strong winds. I well remember driving through Bushy Park near Hampton Court on the morning after the great hurricane of October 1987. Mature trees had been felled like nine pins, and once impressive avenues of trees lining he road through the park were destroyed! Good luck with your clear-up operation Pippa. Perhaps you'll now have an opportunity for some new tree planting.

Gardeners' World Web User 19/11/2009 at 19:08

Talking of extreme weather, will the weather forecast on site be returning to it's original format soon?

Gardeners' World Web User 27/11/2009 at 20:37

hi i have 3 silver birch trees do i peel the bark myself or let nature take its course

Gardeners' World Web User 29/11/2009 at 18:03

I'm thankful I didn't have a tornado, but my greenhouse was pushed back about 35cm by the wind. the whole thing just moved like a lightweight. It's 10'x8' and 8' high with 94 panes of glass and a steel base, so it's pretty heavy. 2 panes blew out but didn't break. I was really lucky the damage was minimal, but now I'm trying to find a way to move it back without taking all the glass out. Any ideas welcome.

Gardeners' World Web User 30/11/2009 at 16:27

hey jude by the beatles my wife and i moved our shed from one side of garden to other side useing wodden rollers

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