Spring 2022 Snowstorm

May 20

I woke to my husband gently shaking me. He’d just surveyed the damage out back. It wasn’t good. And it was still snowing. Every couple minutes a low crack or splat sounded danger. I looked skyward to be sure the noise wasn’t from above and made my way around back.

Wow. Of the seven forty plus year old trees, five took damage. The worst is the ash that sits at the north edge of the shade garden. This one will be a total loss. A limb at least 16″ in diameter crashed through the fence and into the neighbors yard. The top 10 feet of another limb flattens the chokecherry I so carefully trim into a lollipop each year. A third straddles others 15 feet up. And then there is the one that is hanging ominously over my neighbor’s yard. It is at least 50% broken and a light wind will surely bring it down. He discovered the damage at 4:30 AM and immediately looked to his truck to see if our maple had crushed it. Luckily, the now stress fractured 15″ diameter limb was just brushing the hood. He immediately moved the truck.

What could be done now? It was dangerous to be out. I got an extension pole I use for picking apples and went to work smacking snow laden limbs overhanging the street. It helped some, if for no other reason than motion to make me feel better. I knocked on another neighbor’s door to warn him to move his vehicle in case the 30 foot limb came down. He moved his jeep, but not far enough. Awhile later we hear snap and crunch. A limb even further up fell, denting the jeep’s door. Uggh no. That’s an insurance claim.

Damage on every corner. We needed a chainsaw and fast. Luckily, we got a decent one and new loppers and the lucky seventh to buy that morning. We took the dog for a walk after that. We had to wait for the melt. There isn’t a deciduous tree without damage in our neighborhood. Crack, crack, crack.

The cleanup begins. I clear the maple’s downed limbs out front. A small task compared to what awaits me in the back. Under the ash a thirty year old fountain basin is missing its top, a lady pouring water out of a jug. Was it crushed? Then there’s the birdbath under the honeylocust. It was intact, the downed limb just narrowly missing it. That limb was blocking the entrance to the shed. And above, the rest of the limb lays on the roof. It should be okay there for awhile. And then there’s the neighbors. I had to get over and ensure we got some cleared for their safety and their dog’s.

We are lucky to have such good neighbors. Patient and good natured, he was happy we jumped in to get clearing. Six bags and a number of large limbs were hauled out. We got to talk and catch up on his latest projects. It was good to connect. And Sadie will have a path to her favorite place, the window in the fence. But now there’s two. Even if there’s still a huge limb waiting the professionals, we have made progress.

I am so freakin tired.

The beginning of the storm was pretty

The aftermath. Top of the ash tree covers the shade garden.
There used to be a fence behind that tree.
The stress fracture (light color at center) runs along the base of the thirty foot maple limb overhanging the road.
With a stroke of luck the lady survived, as did the basin.

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.