Bayou Tree News

New Orleans trees show nation’s steepest dropoff

A study, published recently in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening magazine, found that the nation’s cities are, on average, losing about 0.25 percent of their tree cover a year. That works out to about 30.5 square miles of lost canopy per year, or 4 million lost trees. In New Orleans, the cause of the decline was definitely Katrina, said study co-author David Nowak, a research forester in the service’s Northern Research Station in Syracuse, N.Y. The city’s inclusion in the study was aimed at pointing to one of the myriad ways in which the nation’s urban forests are being challenged.
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Hurricane Lee too much for many trees

“Normally during a storm you’re gonna lose your older trees, weaker trees,” said arborist and owner of Bayou Tree Service, John Benton. According to Benton, live oaks are typically resilient even in wind and water. The one in City Park along Wisner had a growth pattern that left it susceptible to snapping, not to mention, termite damage. “The theory is after heavy rain, especially following a drought, the tree will pull up a lot of water, it’ll add weight and turgidity to the limb and they tend to snap,” Benton said.
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Saving “Rachel”

The McFaddin-Ward House, an historic house/museum nestled in oil-rich Beaumont, Texas and graced with sweeping porches, overlooks a massive garden that features two centurion Live Oaks named “William” and “Rachel.” William and Rachel seemed eternal, their yard-wide trunks too heavy to yield to any storm. But then on September 12, 2008, Hurricane Ike’s power was too great for one of the mighty oaks. Following Category 3 Hurricane Ike’s 15-hour rampage through Southeast Texas, Buildings & Grounds Supervisor Felix McFarland surveyed the damage to the museum. He discovered Rachel was partially uprooted, exposing its massive rootball on the south side of the tree and crushing the roots on its north. While McFarland consulted with several tree services and arborists, he had his ground crew and security guards keep the bared roots irrigated. McFarland conferred with Lee Stansberry of Bayou Tree Service of New Orleans and with Mac Davis of Davis Tree Experts of Vidor, TX.
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