I’m interrupting my series of posts on the wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie to share these videos of the damage to our yard from the severe winds which went through the Fox Valley on Saturday, July 20, 2019.
All I could do was gasp with disbelief and then cry as I walked around to see the damage. Trees of every variety* were affected except some of the native maples (Acer sp), and none of the native oaks (Quercus sp), Shag-Bark Hickories (Carya Ovata), American Hophornbeams (Ostrya virginiana) and the Eastern Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra). And believe it or not, the native Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) was not damaged either.
Every yard in our very private, old growth trees, ten-house development has downed trees. Thankfully no one was hurt and no homes or cars were damaged, and we all have electricity. There are many in the Fox Valley who were not so lucky.
I’ve been hearing from friends and family from all over the State who have similar damage to their yards. Some even have house and car damage, and many are also without electricity. For that reason, we can count ourselves as lucky ones.
My wish is this — if you’ve sustained storm damage this year or ever, my heart goes out to you. If you’ve been lucky and have not been affected by any of the horrible storms, please think of your friends, family and neighbors who have and lend a hand. It’ll help make the heartbreak much easier to handle.
*Native and non-native cherry, apple, native Mountain Ash, lilac, native Green and White Ash, Norway Maple, native Paper Birch, native White Pine, native Catalpa and native Red-Twig Dogwood.
Donna and John’s Wind Swept Yard
A 70 mph wind went through Saturday morning, July 20, 2019 and wiped out many of our beloved trees. Our yard looks like a war zone not only because of the downed trees and branches, but also because it flattened much of our prairie. In all we had 10 trees down, 4 waiting to fall and extensive damage to 7 more.
Our neighbor to the west lost two huge old trees in his south yard, one of which toppled a couple of our ash, a white pine and birch. He lost a number of big branches from other mature oaks in the rest of his yard as well.
We lost a big branch from our monstrous white ash on the west side of our yard. Our big, old much belowed bur oak which shades our deck on the south withstood another storm gallantly. We are so thankful. We have a number of her young bur oaks in our yard that seem to stood against the wind well, also. On the southeast side, a couple of trunks from another ash tree fell into our cherry tree, although it appears to be standing upright.
On the east side, our big old beloved catalpa tree really got hurt. We also lost a red maple, some lilacs and the top of our Mountain Ash. The neighbor across the street lost their two big old spruce trees; luckily they fell east/west and didn’t damage their house.
Our southern boundary took a pretty good hit as well. This is looking from the east. What you don’t see is the three Green Ash that are down at the southwest corner.
This is a closer look at the southeast corner of our property. We can now get a closer look because our neighbor already cut up and removed their three big old growth tress which fell onto our property. There are five trees down on this corner, and another one waiting to fall. In all we had 10 trees down, 4 waiting to fall and extensive damage to 7 more.
This is a closer look from the center of our prairie, looking east. In all we had 10 trees down, 4 waiting to fall and extensive damage to 7 more.
Marilyn Dee Jones says
bBmmer. i takes so long to establish a big tree, thus it is really hurtful to lose them. So sorry you had this storm damage.
Donna VanBuecken says
Thanks, Marilyn. I’m trying to look on the bright side. When I planted my prairie, the Green Ash trees were fairly small and didn’t cast much shade. Over the past few years, my prairie around them has deteriorated because of the shade they’ve cast. Looks like Mother Nature wanted my prairie back!
Oh, that hurts, Donna. I’m so sorry for all those losses.
Donna VanBuecken says
Thanks, Joy. Thinking positively, the good thing is that it reduced the shade in our prairie.