Earlier this week, we had two days of storms and high winds at the Nature Preserve and things certainly look different now. The first noticeable damage is to the Norway spruce next to the Field House. The top of this large tree has been bare for years, while the rest is perfectly healthy. It was the favorite perch for many of our birds and birders alike.
Now the bird perch is on the ground and will have to be hauled away, while the birds are searching for a new place to perch with such a good view.
The pine trees by the Nature Center parking lot are not well formed to begin with. Instead of a single trunk, it split into several large branches. This structure weakens the tree, and high winds took down one of the larger side branches, which landed on our split rail fence.
Back in the forest, you will see acres of dead trees. The emerald ash borer absolutely decimated them last year. Our staff is cutting them where they might fall over a trail as much as they can, but you can see the damage that results from a high wind. Ash is a soft wood, and subject to wind damage even when the trees are healthy.
As you walk on the trails, please take care not to trip and fall over any branches we haven’t have time to remove yet. If you find something that can easily be moved away, please feel to help out.