HELP!! Ice storm disaster

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  #1  
Old 02-27-03, 06:27 PM
GADGET K
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HELP!! Ice storm disaster

This afternoon the ice storm in my area (central NC) brought down two of my beloved plants. One is a rhododendron and the other is a red bud tree. With the heavy weight of icecle, both fell down horizontally with root ball exposed..no structural breaking.
Well, tomorrow I will face the dilenma of what to do with this mess.
I NEED HELP!!!!
The rhododendron is lesser a headache...I'll set it upright and see what'll happen. The worst is to replant one.
The red bud is another story....It is about 15 years old, but by no means a big tree...trunk is about 10", height..no mre than 12'.
I am wondering if I set it back to upright position would it survive. I should be able to pull it up with one or two helpers.
Any good methods of reviving this downed tree?... other than cutting it down?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-28-03, 09:10 AM
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Blow overs.

Hold on, calm down you have nothing more than a blow over.

Call around to your Nurserys in town & ask for a good grade of a soiless potting mix. You will use this to stich or fill in the small gap left buy the root ball comming out.

If we can root bare root trees shipped across Country & plant them now getting them to root by Spring. Well I think we can do the same for an already half rooted one.

Prepare by getting about 25 feet of utility nylon rope & tie a loop that won't tighten, a little over 1/2 way up the trunk. Small metal screw in earth anchors, will be needed to tie the Bush/Tree in place.

Once the Tree is righted & tied in place the potting soil can be worked into the crack on the broken side. This will keep out bugs & replace the open area with soil. By Spring I do believe the rooting will be well under way.

Most folks leave the support rope in place for about 1/2 to 3/4 of the summer, Just in case of a thunder storm and take another chance of a blow over.

This is an old trick to fix the blow over, & should given the time of year, re-root quite well.

Best of luck to you & keep us up on the progress
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-03, 09:44 AM
GADGET K
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Hi,Marturo
Thanks for the reply.
After a close inspection this morning and inputs from everyone. I'm more optimistic than yesterday. Good news: root is only half pulled out. Bad news: It is heavier than I thought, needs more than 3 men....especially with the icicle still on..but melting as we speak.

So,I am planning to pull up with my car. Questions:
1. I think I should trim/prune it to reduce the weight, any thoughts on how much should I trim?
2. Any safety issues when car pulling this small (but not too small) tree?

Thanks again,
 
  #4  
Old 02-28-03, 12:23 PM
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Ice Storm aftermath

Hi GADGET K,

Think out your safest options first. Is it possable to melt the ice with a garden hose? Or is weather a problem? Water making plant reseating a problem?

Plants will be brittle when very cold. So I have the first thought a DIYer has, that a journyman can not afford to have. How can I put this off until the conditions are safer, & I will have a better chance of succeding with my task?

If you can get some ground cloth or old inexpensive blankets, from a surplus store. Then cover the raised area with the material & then cover with the clear plastic that they sell at Hardware stores.

In fact the plastic comes 10 feet wide by 100 long, you could cover the plants with plastic so they will develop warm air inside the plastic, & melt the ice away before the move.

If you had a Come along or an electric wench, I would feel a lot better. So many unexpected things can happen when using a car or truck, to pull a cold frozen tree.

Can you put it off until you melt the ice? The plants are dorment so time is on your side.

As a Gardeners we don't ever want to see a fellow Gardener hurt. Winter can be a very dangerious time for a Gardener. We will take chances to save trees & structures form damage.

I was almost killed helping a friend, clear the snow load off his glass Green house, the scaffold colasped & I went through with it. Thank God for the extra heavy clothes, I was wearing.

Marturo
 
  #5  
Old 02-28-03, 01:24 PM
offcenter
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When you stake your tree use either one tie-down or three. While I don't know the answer, there is a recommended length of time to have the tie-downs in place. My mature Redbud was a total loss in last January's severe ice storm. Fortunately, the previous Fall I had my three 50+ yr old Ash trees professionally trimmed and the damage to them was not as bad as it could have been.

Good luck with your tree.
 
  #6  
Old 02-28-03, 03:22 PM
GADGET K
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Marturo,

Thanks for the caucious words.
The temp is warm enough today so ice is all gone and tomorrow's temp is projected to be in high 40s.

So planning to do it tomorrow with all the ammunitions ready...a 2500 pounds-rated tiedown rope (20') with a rachet wrench. If I trim 1/3 of branches off, I estimate my Honda CRV (4x4)should be able to pull it up...unless anyone feel otherwise.
Once it is up I have several big oak trees on the upside that I can tie nylon ropes to secure.

Again, any comments on how much I can trim without damaging it?
 
  #7  
Old 02-28-03, 08:11 PM
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Smile Redbud Shaping

Remember the basics of pruning.

How do you want to see it in 5 years? Top pruning will give a shorter wider tree. Side pruning will give a taller thinner tree.

What just happened, will happen again, so keep that in mind when you decide. Tall & thin will snap in two, while short and wide will loose side branches. Up in the Highlands we have had our share of bad ice storms this year.

Lost a lot of pine tree due to the high winds after the storms.

Marturo
 
  #8  
Old 03-01-03, 07:03 AM
GADGET K
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Thanks Marturo,
I'll take your advice in mind when I prune later today.
 
  #9  
Old 03-01-03, 09:29 AM
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Smile Redbud

Well G K,

Arm yourself with this :http://www.ces.uga.edu/pubcd/B961-W.HTML#Technique My favorite

I still have a habit of taking my old copy of, Pruning Trees & Shrubs, with me into the yard. To think, I could choose the cuts, copy them and prune today, & it would still be, gardeners magic.

Don't forget to gut those cuts covered with ( TreeKote Wound dressing & grafting compound ) to cover all those cuts.

You have a good DIYers outlook & that's what we all try to develop. Plummer tied up, what can I do? have spares will fix. Power co. is down, start the generator. So much more to the adventure, when we loose that fear of failure.

Once the fear is gone we begin to see the sameness in all of us, if someone can fix that, so can I. Any other way of looking at it, would have to imply we have 2 forms of Homosapiens on Earth LOL.

Keep us up on the rerooting progress, a weekly watering can or two per week, with Seaweed concentrate mixed with water, is a great root stimulatant.

Marturo
 
  #10  
Old 03-01-03, 03:21 PM
GADGET K
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Marturo,
I am happy to report the tree is up.
And let me tell you if it were not that I took all the advices and recommendations from you guys. It could be a task beyond my ability.

Some after-thoughts:
My 4x4 Honda CRV turned out to be a little under power than I expected ( but then againg it only equipped with a 2.0 L engine real small for a SUV...if you can call it one) . I mean..after I pulled it amost to the original position which was leaning towards fall side by abut 10 degrees. I thought I may as well pull it dead vertical to ensure stability, but CRV did not cooperate...and afraid of damaging CRV's transmission, I left the 10 degree alone.
I then tied a steel cored clothes hanging wire to a near-by tree, once secured I ( actually my son ) backed CRV and the wire pulled tight and of couse the 10 degree inclination increased a little more.

If I have to do it again, I would remove some soil under the root so the tree will sit "back" to correct the inclination.

I may also in the future pull another wire/rope that come with a rachet so I can pull more if needed which I am pretty sure would be the case.

For now the yard looked as nice as before the ice storm and I'll just wantto sit back and enjoy a nice supper my wife prepared.
Mission accomplished!

Thanks again,

ps. I think inclination is not the corect word..should be "tilting?", but you know what I mean..tree tilted like the the Pisa tower.
 
  #11  
Old 03-01-03, 05:41 PM
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Smile Well done.

It looks like some soil removal would be a good idea in a case like this.
Yea a big fat gas guzzling Suburban with 12 ton winch, would have been nice to have, standing by

It's up and rerooting as we speak. Who can feed a Suburban today, at our gas prices LOL.

Just out of curiosity do you think it would have helped to have the Redbud, tripple guy wired before the storm? Or do you think it would have broken it over?

It's hard to second guess an ice storm. Great news on the tree, and our weather is starting to moderate some now.

Let's hope that was one of the last Ice storms & get on with Spring

Marturo
 
  #12  
Old 03-01-03, 08:16 PM
GADGET K
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Hi Marturo,

I don't know if triple guy wired would prevent this. I never worried about this rather small tree in my yard, I do worry a lot about dozen of towering oaks around the house everytime storms approach. Actually, there are half dozen big branches fell down during this ice storm..good 8-10" diameter size...fortunately did no damage to the house.

It is ironical..... before we moved in here, the house we had in Philly has no tree. So it was decided the next house has to have lot of trees...and dream granted.
After we moved in we had at least 2 dozen big trees removed to: 1) build a veggy garden and: 2) rid of those nagging noise of acorns popping on deck and roof at night.

Here we are, still too much tree and the veggy garden still don't get all but 4 hrs of sun.

Next house, I told my wife just yesterday, will have only several trees on the western edge of the property.

Have I covered all the bases now? :-)

Have a good evening!
 
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