Breaking the ice

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Simply put – ice is a rough on trees, and we’ve certainly had our share of it around here (oh and by the way, it’s only the beginning of February)! Driving through different neighborhoods around this part of the Northeast, one begins to see a common theme – almost all (or at least most of the ice damage) seen is on fast growing, and therefore weak wooded, trees that are not native to this region: White Pine, Weeping Willow, Ornamental Pears, (such as the Bradford Pear), Flowering Plums etc.  Interesting thing is these were also the first trees to succumb to the effects of Super Storm Sandy as well.

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Row of White Pine damaged by ice after Monday’s storm

In contrast, many of our natives: Oaks, Maples, Ash and River Birch  all seem to have fared extremely well as compared to their limp wooded counterparts.  Interesting thing to note is that the natives mentioned above all grow significantly slower than the non natives mentioned.  That’s right – there’s still no such thing as a free lunch – the additional time a tree requires to grow to maturity is usually put to good use creating a more dense cellular structure inside the tree, making it more resistant to structural damage.

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Native Dogwoods covered in ice and still in tact

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