|YESTERDAY'S VICIOUS NOREASTER...|
|...GIANT WHITE PINE TAKES OUT POWER LINES...|
|...EIGHTY FOOT TALL ...|
|...SNAPPED OFF AT GROUND LEVEL|
Yesterday morning about 8:00 AM I was looking out the patio door watching the Noreaster, and just as our neighbor Kathleen was driving by on her way to work I heard a loud bang. She pulled her car over and I assumed she had had a blowout, but she soon went on her way again. I couldn't see anything amiss in the yard and environs, and thought maybe the high winds had sent someone's garbage can rumbling down the road. A while later I heard sirens, and I as I went to get the mail decided to check out the neighborhood. The cause of the big bang was a giant white pine on the corner of 9th and Manypenny that had been blown over by the gale force winds.
I stopped and picked my way around the emergency equipment and downed wires and took the above photos. This is a huge tree, probably planted when the nearby house was built, maybe ninety to one hundred years ago. I looked pretty closely at the prop roots, which were sheared off just below ground level, and I didn't see any obvious signs of rot. It looks as though the wind simply sheared off this immense tree. I wasn't able at the time to measure the trunk at breast height, but it has to be at least seventy or eighty inches in diameter. I have asked the city crew to try to make a clean saw cut at about that hight on the trunk so I can count the rings. It is entirely possible that the tree was a native, growing there before the house was built. White pine wood is brittle, but even so it took unbelievable force to just snap it off at the roots. This was a very heavily branched tree, full of needles, about eighty feet tall, and it must have presented itself to the wind like a boat under full sail.