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Is There Strength in Numbers?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by TNTreeHugger, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm wondering...
    Everything else being equal, would a grouping of trees, or a heavily wooded area be less prone to storm wind damage than a lone tree?
    I read that the Giant Sequoia help support each other with their intertwining roots.
    Would the same be true for other trees?
     
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  2. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    Trees will serve as a windbreak, so, yeah, more trees (or other things projecting above the ground) will suffer less wind damage than a single tree. While it might not be obvious, even downwind trees, buildings, etc. can reduce the force of the wind. Even a solitary large tree in the vicinity might reduce wind in the critical area. It is all about disrupting the flow of the wind. Wind can be vicious on the barren prairie, but put a few trees around the farmhouse and it will not be as bad. The Univ. of Mo. has published some good information on windbreaks at http://www.centerforagroforestry.org/pubs/training/chap6_2015.pdf.

    As for "intertwining roots" offering mutual support, it sounds possible, but highly dependent on the species and perhaps the soil.
     
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  3. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanks for the info and the link... off to read it now. :)
     
  4. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    Trees are far more complex, and social than we ever gave them credit for.

    I can't recommend reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenbehn enough.

    A fascinating and enlightening essay on trees, and their ability to communicate n coordinate with each other.

    Jomoco
     
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  5. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This was especially interesting, never occurred to me before, but it certainly makes a lot of sense and when factored in, might explain why certain areas receive more damage than others during a storm:
    "Windbreak Continuity. Continuity influences efficiency. Gaps in a windbreak become funnels that concentrate wind flow, creating areas on the downwind side of the gap in which wind speeds often exceed open field wind velocities. Gaps will decrease the windbreak’s effectiveness. Access lanes through a windbreak should be avoided or minimized."
     
  6. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Like in the movie, Avatar? :)
    Sounds like a good book... I'll look for it on Amazon
     
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  7. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Ordered that one and his "animals" book also... along with a couple others I already had in my cart. :D I love a good book!
     
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  8. redlawn 78

    redlawn 78 ArboristSite Member

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    Living blocks from the beach in Washington we get some pretty crazy wind. though, trees can still be damaged when in denser groupings, irs usually the ones on the edges or are weakened in some way already that either get blown over roots n all or snapped like match sticks. Ive noticed when companies have come in and clear cut entire wooded lots leavin a couple random trees standin it doesn't take too many seasons for the solitary trees to go.
    Ive also witnessed it when homeowners have done thinning of fairly mature trees with out knowing what was healthy and not...pretty sure it caused 3or 4 much older larger trees to be blown over root ball and all over the last 3 or 4 years.
     
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  9. Little Al

    Little Al Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Where I live SW France we are in an area between the Peyrenees /Masiff Centrale which creates it's own mini climates when I first moved to the area I wondered why folks properties were surrounded by close knit ever green high hedges Having now lived there 15+ years I realise why Wind protection/deflection a storm a couple of years back residents with hedges suffered minor damage, open properties roof damage missing tiles blown down fences etc. Protection from the hedge rules
     
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  10. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    The land behind where I live was recently cleared. The cleared area is on a higher elevation from my home. There is still a forested windbreak that ranges from 200 yards wide down to less than 30 between me and the cleared land. I have been there for twenty years. Now one can really get the feel of the wind coming off that hill and slamming into my house. Sucks.

    It’s not just the wind that is diffused with a windbreak of trees, it’s sound too.

    Although when they did all this it was pretty cool to watch the harvester take the large pines. That was one crazy operator.
     
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  11. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    We logged some big oaks on the hill of mine and neighbors property about 8 years ago. Now I’m not real smart but in those past years I wonder if the increased water runoff from the loss of canopy, build up of silt around the trees on the down hill, and a really bad drought two years ago (plus the good price of white oak for whisky barrels - thank God for Kentucky bourbon ) has us at the right time, thankfully, getting the rest. These woods have been a shrine of tranquility to me for my entire life. But the past decade has seen the loss of some nice trees to disease. Accelerated due to the aforementioned issues I’ve been forced to decide to harvest the resource for the benefit of the living and accept life here is but a temporary endeavor. Sorry to go off script but yes I certainly do think there is strength in numbers.
     
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  12. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sorry for being dense, but are you saying removing the trees at the top of the hill has caused the tees down below to become diseased?
     
  13. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    More like they're doomed from the top of the hill down cuz of our fondness for whiskey!

    Rye whiskey rye whisky rye whiskey I cry!

    Jomoco
     
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  14. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think we need a more detailed description of the hill. ;)
     
  15. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    No, just wondering if it may have helped things along. Disease is hitting oaks pretty hard all over north Alabama.
     
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  16. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Not an expert, but for your trees, I would think the extra runoff of water and top soil would have been good for the trees down below... also, depending on how high the hill, what side of the hill the lower trees are on, and how tall the removed trees were, the trees below would have been open to more sunlight?

    Do They know what's killing off the oaks in Alabama?
     
  17. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    I’ve read some on hypoxylon cancker and oak wilt. You might as well say the same for anywhere in the south east.
     
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  18. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Books arrived today and I've been reading, taking a break at chapter seven. This is exactly the answer to my question... and in a word, the answer is, "Yes." Really looking forward to reading the rest of the book. Thank you so much for suggesting it. :heart:
     
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  19. TNTreeHugger

    TNTreeHugger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I finally got around to finishing this book last night - can't thank you enough for recommending it.
    It answered my question.. but, it's caused me to think about trees in a completely new light and now I have a lot more questions...

    For starters, he talks about the beneficial organisms that are in the soil surrounding tree roots and how they aid with communication between the roots of one tree and it's siblings, children, and neighbors, and how this system grows with the trees and if this network is broken the health of the trees can be severely affected.
    He also says that trees benefit, in many ways, from growing in close proximity with other trees of the same species, like the mature trees providing shade to the young sprouts and supplying them with nutrients when conditions get tough.

    This makes me think that the common acceptable practice of growing trees in nursery pots, transplanting them to the over-chemical-saturated field, digging up smaller than normal root balls and shipping them clear across the state, or further is, at the least, planned obsolescence for the trees and at the worst premeditated "homicide."

    It really makes me sad to think about all those lonely, solitary, yard specimens that people plant in their yards - especially those planted along city streets and sidewalks.

    Seems to me, the modern plant nurseries aren't conducting business much different than the dreaded puppy mills.

    Near the end of the book, he says it can take 500 years to establish a forest, starting from scratch with the first generation. I'm fearful for their future on this planet as long as they are in competition with humans for space and killed for their commodity.

    Thoughts?
     
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  20. Del_

    Del_ Life is but a song we sing.

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    Yep.

    Keep reading.
     
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