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high winds - tree loss

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Offline Technopat

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« on: March 08, 2007, 13:36 PM »
Greetings All,
Yesterday's high winds uprooted more than 250 trees (53 of them in El Parque del Retiro), according to today's radio news (RNE). Imagine similar, and possibly worse damage, nationwide, or rather, peninsula. Are there any trees that are especially vulnerable to high winds, i.e. short roots, particular species, evergreens/deciduous, certain soils, and more to the point, what trees could be planted to resist high winds? Have always been fascinated by those isolated and solitary trees on windswept heathlands, etc. leaning, but not really leaning, in the direction of the wind.
Hold onto your hollyhocks!
Regards,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Clive

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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2007, 17:00 PM »
Hola,

Last night at around 4 am down here in Grazalema a wind hit us for about an hour or so. It was very very fierce but this morning there is very little damage. No trees down at all and even more disappointing, that 12 metre dead bit at the top of one of my poplars is still there. (I was hoping for a bit of leña to get me through the last of the winter. Had this wind continued and been accompanied by rain the results could have been devastating.

The windswept trees you see on hillsides are only there like because they have grown up with it constantly especially on coastal hills where the wind is mostly from one direction

When it rains along with the freak high wind most trees regardless of species are vulnerable because the rain softens the soil and normally the whole tree root ball and all goes over.

Lombardy poplars (Chopos) drop dead branches in moderate winds but any tree that has grown up in the open over say 40 years would be vulnerable to a freak high wind.

City parks and gardens are most likely to be affected by freak winds because for 99 percent of the time they live a sheltered life but when the wind gets in it really does some damage. Part of this is to do with irrigation systems and fertilisers. Because the ground is irrigated the tree does not bother to put deep tap roots down to search for moisture or food and this means it's roots are not relative to it's above ground growth.

Interesting point is that freak high winds will become more often making them less freak due to general global warming and this in turn will lead to shorter more sturdier trees and windswept looking bushes.

Clive
« Last Edit: March 08, 2007, 17:01 PM by Wildside »
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 18:02 PM »
Dear All
absolutely no damage at all up here in Leon, I know Salamanca had it bad, one block lost all its balconies. Had a look at the digital paper El Diario de Leon, and it had not reports at all.
It was windy , but luckily not gusty, which is always the danger. All the trees down the river seem O.K.
Regards
Dave

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2007, 22:38 PM »
Greetings All,
I take it then that urban trees (non-autoctonous?) tend to suffer most, along with balconies, whilst natural growing trees would be more resistant to nature's idiosyncracies.

As for Clive's interesting point about high winds becoming the norm due to global warming, etc., it reminds me of all the over-exploitation (is that too much of a translation from Spanish?) of land in the US that led to the erosion of land in the Dust Bowl and other dust bowls and resulting poverty, tornadoes, etc.

Another thought that struck me was: what happens to birds' nests under such conditions? It has never occurred to me to check if an existing nest was still there after the storm - yes, Dave, assuming the tree were still standing. Do certain species (apart from members of the cuckoo family) construct their nests so as to resist high winds better than others? My faith in human nature is generally pretty low whilst my faith in nature itself is very high (that sounds too good to be my own, original thought or wordplay - Nick, you have my pemissuion to adapt it and use it as the forum's motto).

Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2007, 23:16 PM »
Greetings Clive,
Have just come across your term "general land mis-management", albeit on the hunting thread (http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?board=22;topic=89.6#msg505), and would like permission to include it in my lexis, as it clearly describes my own feelings as to most things related to huntin', fishin', shootin' and farmin', well, wildlife issues in general.

(Is it my imagination, or is there no fishin' thread yet?)

Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2007, 23:44 PM »
Just came across the following article on http://www.elpais.com/articulo/espana/viento/derribo/ayer/258/arboles/Madrid/elpepuesp/20070308elpepunac_3/Tes
which gives different data to what I posted this morning (I suppose this version is more correct).
Will try to find out what happened to a park the alcalde didn't mention (he cunningly referred only to those which would be re-opened to the public today after having been closed for safety reasons - whereas the only park of any arboricultural interest here is El Parque del Capricho (which is only open to the p. on Sats. & Suns.). Worth a visit on your next trip to Madrid - an oasis!
Let's hope the damage is minimal - remember Kew Gardens some years ago.

Regs,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2007, 13:21 PM »
Greetings All,
Impossible to get official figures as to trees downed in P. del Capricho - in any case, not much apparent dam., though I haven't had time today to walk round. The council department in charge is a sub-contracted construction/waste management company and has no interest in informing the public, except when the mayor symbolically plants a new tree (which usually ends up dead within a year) on a new urban development somewhere, or how many tens of thousands of pansies, etc. they've planted in Madrid's streets. As the park in question is closed during the week, which is when the gardening staff are there, had no other way of getting any info. except today asking the two weekend guys with información stamped on their jackets, the first of whom told me that no trees had come down, and the other told me that three 40-metre trees had been uprooted (a pine, a cedar and he didn't know what the other one was). Both said that numerous boughs and branches had been sawn up and cleared away during the week, but had no idea as to number of nests, etc., were damaged and both obviously thought I was totally crazy for asking weird questions!
Regs.
Technopat 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 23:01 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Clive

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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2007, 20:22 PM »
Hola techno,

Stop asking daft questions and it would stop the weird looks you get.

I had to stop going in to the El Bosque visitor centre here a while ago because my "awkward" questions were upsetting the staff. Things like "why is the Garganta seca area closed to the public" was answered with narrowed eyes and "because the scientist say it is". I naturally thought they were hiding something so asked the same question quite a few times. I can't help it I am an inquisitive person by nature..jajajaja. I haven't dared ask them about hunting practices or processionary caterpillars for fear of being run out of town.

Let us know when you finally see the evidence of missing trees and freshly sawn limbs.....

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2007, 20:50 PM »
Headlines: Inquisitive, flora, fauna and fungi-loving guiris tarred and feathered and run outta town!
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266