The Power of Water in a Wood

Water should never be underestimated. Especially after a bad storm.

At the beginning of the week, I was out with two of my colleagues on a storm inspection. We had several reports of Storm Dennis’ weekend rampage on our estate’s trees and found many more unreported casualties.

A substantial oak tree completely uprooted
My desperate ‘attempt’ to push the root plate back down! Impossible.

The damage that continuous heavy rain can cause to trees is sometimes out of one’s mind. Root damage by storms is often exacerbated by excess water content around a root system; trees with pre-existing root weaknesses or shallow root growth can quite easily topple, especially when perched precariously on steep slopes in loose ground. With the combination of strong winds, it doesn’t take a lot for a mighty giant to collapse. We sadly had to clear a total of six trees that day.

I feel sorry when I see an uprooted tree. For me it’s the seemingly brutal way it’s been ripped out of the ground which makes it feel so raw. It’s almost like the tree had no escape; like when you’ve got your feet in wellies, walking into and getting stuck in soggy mud so you try jerking your leg out of that sinkhole with all your might. As you may have guessed, I’m speaking from firsthand experience when I was trying my best not to face plant!

In Mother Nature’s cycle even giants can go down like a ton of bricks. Think of all those arduous years of growth, each growth ring that’s painstakingly put on and every vertical inch a tree gains as it reaches for the sunlight. Then add lots of water and the ‘right’ combination of factors and boom. Slowly, surely, suddenly.

So never underestimate the power of water, as it seeps into the cracks of a giant’s facade.

Stay vigilant, go deep, live strong.

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