Weathering the Storm, Mourning our Trees

Weathering the Storm, Mourning our Trees - article image

We made it through Hurricane Matthew! It affected some more than others but I think we all can count our blessings when we think of the damage to other places like Haiti and North Carolina. Just from the photo and video footage and sadly the death count it would seem these were the hardest hit places. 

Just riding through my neighborhood its a hard thing to witness the damage, from rooftops to underpinnings and outbuildings there are a lot of repairs that will be taking place in the next few weeks. But I think the saddest to me is the death of trees. Sure, trees can be replanted but some of these trees have been providing beauty and oxygen to us for years and with one gust of Hurricane Matthew they are gone. So I offer an epitaph for them:

Rest in Peace. You brought us beauty, shade, and were home to God’s little creatures. We  know you will still bring joy as you are repurposed - perhaps you will keep me warmed by the fire or season my food. I appreciate you. 

I know. It seems silly, but we spend a lot of time planting and caring for these trees. They are important to us in so many ways, from the air we breath to the fruit they produce. Yet we often take them for granted until they are gone. 

So what do we do in the aftermath? How do we cleanup and take care of our trees? There are places that offer cleanup services. You may want to call your local arborist or google “caring for land after a storm” and see what you find. A list of ways they can help would include:

  • Tree removal, stump removal and grinding
  • Tree pruning
  • Large tree staking and bracing
  • Tree replanting
  • Leaf and debris removal
  • Re-sodding
  • Retaining wall repair

It’s important that you use care when assessing your trees after a storm. Safety first! If you are not experienced and you are not sure what you are looking for consider hiring a professional arborist to help you assess the damage and know which trees can be saved. 

If you are a pecan farmer and you have downed trees your best route may be to first call your local FSA office. We saw damage to our pecan crop with Hermine back in September. A Farm Bureau article commented on the damage South Georgia growers experienced. It mentioned that trees with damaged root systems were more susceptible to falling in subsequents storms. I believe we are seeing the fruition of this statement in the fallen pecan trees in our area.

The UGA Extension wrote a blog about what Pecan Farmers should do about downed trees. You can see the entire post here. They give some specification on trees that may survive and those that may not. The UGA Extension encourages growers to contact the local FSA office to have their property inspected so they can take advantage of programs like TAP (Tree Assistance Program) or ECP (Emergency Conservation Program).  You can click on either of those for more information about the programs. 

Whether it’s a tree in your yard or you were unfortunate enough to lose many trees in your pecan orchard, it’s imperative that you use the resources available to you. Some offer financial assistance while others can just help you know what to do with the trees and offer safety guidelines during assessment and clean up. 

We at Carter Group Real Estate wish you the best in your clean up efforts and pray that you can recover from any losses you may have experienced. You have our prayers and support.


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