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Walt

Hurricane Irma Aftermath!

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Walt

I put together some video and photos I took shortly after Hurricane Irma came roaring by west of me. I finally got around to editing them all together and making a YouTube video showing the damage caused by Irma to my palms, trees, shrubs, etc. Fortunately, virtually no damage was done to my house, other than some aluminum soffit panels came loose.

My biggest palm loss were my two Syagrus botryophora. I had both tied with ropes (anchored) in hopes that the palms wouldn't be blown over at the roots (like I've seen in photos). But the ropes didn't help as both palm's trunks were snapped in two higher up on the trunks. As you can imagine, I wasn't a happy camper when I traversed  my entire property inspecting the damage. The clean up job was monumental. It took me 4-5 months of working 3-5 hours a day cleaning all the debris up.

Then to add insult to injury, several months after Irma, I noticed many of my slash pines starting to die. The pines, I assume from the stress Irma caused to them (breaking off many limbs) got infected with pine bark beetles. I had my palm trimmer come in with his crew and bucket truck and take down about six big slash pines, while I cut down small ones. But since then about 10 more slash pines have died, and my tree trimmer is coming back next week to take seven of them down. The other three are inaccessible in a wooded area, so they will have to rot and fall in place.

This spring I purchased eight new species of palms. Some I planted, others are still in pots. My garden, overall, is not coming back strong. I plan to do an update video (for 2018) this October, but using a drone camera to get some aerial views of my property. Other than that, I'm well over the property damage Irma caused. That's life, that's tough!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrNfFrEWhdE&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

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DoomsDave

Be resilient.

(I'll stop whining about the little heat wave we just had.)

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pj_orlando_z9b

Walt, nice documentary you put together. Sorry you lost so many plants. Most of my yard is young with most plants going in over the last 3 years so I didnt have significant cleanup due to their size. I believe the hurricane damage plus the freeze caused extra hardship on my plants this year and the main reason for the slower recovery. The foxtails lost 2 healthy fronds and all of my red copper plants were uprooted. For my coconut, Irma is the cause of my lean!

Screenshot_20180711-131153_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20180711-131228_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20180711-131138_Gallery.jpg

Edited by pj_orlando_z9b
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paquicuba
3 hours ago, Walt said:

My garden, overall, is not coming back strong

Did you mean "now" ? —great video btw!

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John in Andalucia

Walt, really sorry to hear this. Our plants are very much 'on loan' from Mother Nature it seems, as we too are gifted this life!

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kinzyjr

Nice video, @Walt.  Lakeland and Bartow also got the dirty side of the hurricane.  There were mature 60-80ft. live oaks completely uprooted around Lake Hollingsworth and some of the live oaks in Bartow got blown over onto the power lines and poles.  Some of the poles were cracked into 3 pieces. 

No power for 4 days on my side of the street.  On the other side of the street, they didn't have power for 9 days.  No damage to the house at all, thankfully.  Most of the mess in my yard was small and medium-sized branches that came out of the oaks.  I managed to get that part of the damage cleaned up in a day, but my property is roughly 1/18th the size of Walt's, with mostly young plants like @pj_orlando_z9b.  I used a pole saw to trim the oak branches and sea grapes that were close to the house during the week before Irma hit, and I'm certain that saved the spouting and gutters some abuse.  I did have to have one side of my largest avocado tree removed since it was leaning over the fence and pool area after the hurricane, but the other side is still growing and does have some fruit on it this year.

Let's hope we don't get another one this year, and certainly no repeats of 2004 when we got 3 of them (Charley, Frances, and Jeanne).

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Walt
On 7/11/2018, 1:20:11, paquicuba said:

Did you mean "now" ? —great video btw!

Yes, I did mean "now." My property  is recovering nicely, except for the dying slash pine trees. Just this morning while mowing I happened to notice yet another dead slash pine tree. This pine is next to a fallen Entereolobium cyclocarpum tree (shown in my YouTube video) that lived, but is now lying prostrate on the ground. I had to cut some of it up in order to get around it, but I will let it grow as it is. You can see this tree in front of the dead slash pine.

Dead slash pine 7-12-18.jpg

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Walt
On 7/11/2018, 1:14:49, pj_orlando_z9b said:

Walt, nice documentary you put together. Sorry you lost so many plants. Most of my yard is young with most plants going in over the last 3 years so I didnt have significant cleanup due to their size. I believe the hurricane damage plus the freeze caused extra hardship on my plants this year and the main reason for the slower recovery. The foxtails lost 2 healthy fronds and all of my red copper plants were uprooted. For my coconut, Irma is the cause of my lean!

Screenshot_20180711-131153_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20180711-131228_Gallery.jpg

Screenshot_20180711-131138_Gallery.jpg

Well, PJ, when one has so many plantings, there's so many more to lose and/or get damage. My property was whacked three hurricanes in a row back in 2004. Of course, I had less to lose, and what I had was smaller back then. I took Irma less hard. I made the choice to have so much, thus I have to accept hurricane events like this. One consolation is that all the clean up gives me all the exercise I need. The loss of so many slash pines will also lessen the amount of tree litter I must contend with. Policing up tree litter (if I want to keep my property looking sharp) is one of my biggest maintenance chores. Constantly trimming palm fronds, spent inflorescense/infructescence, etc., picking up detached self-cleaning palm fronds is also a big maintenance item. The only thing that will stop me now is old age. Father time is beginning to nip at my heals, but I'm trying to stave him off as long as possible!

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Walt
On 7/11/2018, 1:28:02, John in Andalucia said:

Walt, really sorry to hear this. Our plants are very much 'on loan' from Mother Nature it seems, as we too are gifted this life!

Thanks for the condolences, John. But I'm totally over Irma's ravage. Things are coming back nicely now. I just wish I still had my two tall Syagrus botryophora, though!

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Walt
On 7/11/2018, 12:30:28, DoomsDave said:

Be resilient.

(I'll stop whining about the little heat wave we just had.)

Resilient is my stock in trade! I've been through five major hurricanes now since I moved here in 1997, plus one strong tropical storm. Then there were all the major hard freezes! Yes, one must be resilient!

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GottmitAlex

Sorry to see the damage Walt. I know you're over it. Still..

Btw, why does it seem trees are more likely to uproot than palm trees? Because of the branches/resistance?

One would think they would be more resilient during inclement weather than palms.

 

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Walt
13 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Nice video, @Walt.  Lakeland and Bartow also got the dirty side of the hurricane.  There were mature 60-80ft. live oaks completely uprooted around Lake Hollingsworth and some of the live oaks in Bartow got blown over onto the power lines and poles.  Some of the poles were cracked into 3 pieces. 

No power for 4 days on my side of the street.  On the other side of the street, they didn't have power for 9 days.  No damage to the house at all, thankfully.  Most of the mess in my yard was small and medium-sized branches that came out of the oaks.  I managed to get that part of the damage cleaned up in a day, but my property is roughly 1/18th the size of Walt's, with mostly young plants like @pj_orlando_z9b.  I used a pole saw to trim the oak branches and sea grapes that were close to the house during the week before Irma hit, and I'm certain that saved the spouting and gutters some abuse.  I did have to have one side of my largest avocado tree removed since it was leaning over the fence and pool area after the hurricane, but the other side is still growing and does have some fruit on it this year.

Let's hope we don't get another one this year, and certainly no repeats of 2004 when we got 3 of them (Charley, Frances, and Jeanne).

Thanks (video)!  I lost power for five days.  My problem started when I began to get low on gasoline. I was siphoning gas from my old pickup truck and car (they don't have anti-siphon screens in the gas filler pipe), but on our two newer vehicles I couldn't get a siphon hose in them. I had plenty of 5-gallon cans, but went through them. Finally, a local station got a gas delivery. But I'm more prepared this hurricane season. I have 35 gallons of stored gas (I rotate and refill cans as I use them to run my many lawn mowers, pressure washers, etc.), plus I'm keeping my vehicles topped off with gas. Yes, Hurricane Jeanne was the most severe for me of the three we got back in 2004. I had at least 30 trees blown down! I put out 65 full size pickup truck loads of tree limb debris on the main road for pick up. And that didn't count all the loads I burned on my property. I burn tree, palm, etc., debris all the time. Much of the ash I use to fertilize and lime with, as wood ash is a fair source of most all minerals except nitrogen, and the ash itself has a calcium carbonate equivalent to about 50% lime. My sandy soil is very acidic, and I must lime often for best mineral uptake in my palms and plantings.

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Walt
4 minutes ago, GottmitAlex said:

Sorry to see the damage Walt. I know you're over it. Still..

Btw, why does it seem trees are more likely to uproot than palm trees? Because of the branches/resistance?

One would think they would be more resilient during inclement weather than palms.

 

Alex, the tree's canopy girth is so big that it acts as a sail (wind area) to multiply the wind force. The sandy soil was wet, root system shallow -- and the trees just topple!

But surprisingly, my coconut fared better than 99% of my other palms, trees, shrubs, etc.!

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GottmitAlex
1 minute ago, Walt said:

Alex, the tree's canopy girth is so big that it acts as a sail (wind area) to multiply the wind force. The sandy soil was wet, root system shallow -- and the trees just topple!

But surprisingly, my coconut fared better than 99% of my other palms, trees, shrubs, etc.!

:greenthumb::D

 

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sonoranfans
On 7/12/2018, 6:30:13, Walt said:

Alex, the tree's canopy girth is so big that it acts as a sail (wind area) to multiply the wind force. The sandy soil was wet, root system shallow -- and the trees just topple!

But surprisingly, my coconut fared better than 99% of my other palms, trees, shrubs, etc.!

yes big trees need even bigger roots to balance the forces being exerted by the wind on that huge canopy.  In my area, palms were not knocked down, but trees like oaks etc were and when they fall they cause a lot of damage.  Palms bend in the wind and have much smaller canopies that are less rigid in the wind.  Only palm damage I had were a few older leaves had broken or severely bent petioles on some palms and the thorns on petioles of some species shredded the older leaves when they were undergoing lots of relative motion in the wind.  It is interesting as you go south in florida to miami area(stronger winds) there are few if any big trees, could it be hurricane limited?

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Walt
2 hours ago, sonoranfans said:

yes big trees need even bigger roots to balance the forces being exerted by the wind on that huge canopy.  In my area, palms were not knocked down, but trees like oaks etc were and when they fall they cause a lot of damage.  Palms bend in the wind and have much smaller canopies that are less rigid in the wind.  Only palm damage I had were a few older leaves had broken or severely bent petioles on some palms and the thorns on petioles of some species shredded the older leaves when they were undergoing lots of relative motion in the wind.  It is interesting as you go south in florida to miami area(stronger winds) there are few if any big trees, could it be hurricane limited?

A Hurricane Irma aftermath problem my property is facing now is a pine bark beetle of epidemic levels. So far I've lost about 30 slash pines of various sizes. I've had the biggest ones professionally removed by a local tree company. Others I've cut down myself, if I could drop them without damaging palms and valued plantings, etc.  Just this morning I walked around taking inventory and counted 10 more dead or dying slash pines. I'm spotting dead slash pines all over my neighborhood, too. 

20180826_105936.jpg

20180827_120356.jpg

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20180830_091023.jpg

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kinzyjr
10 minutes ago, Walt said:

A Hurricane Irma aftermath problem my property is facing now is a pine bark beetle of epidemic levels. So far I've lost about 30 slash pines of various sizes. I've had the biggest ones professionally removed by a local tree company. Others I've cut down myself, if I could drop them without damaging palms and valued plantings, etc.  Just this morning I walked around taking inventory and counted 10 more dead or dying slash pines. I'm spotting dead slash pines all over my neighborhood, too.

I had 4 giant slash pines across the road from me that all died. I had assumed it was due to old age, but perhaps it could have been pine bark beetle problems.

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Walt
41 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

I had 4 giant slash pines across the road from me that all died. I had assumed it was due to old age, but perhaps it could have been pine bark beetle problems.

After the hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, I had some slash pines die, but that pales to what's happening now. My property is covered with slash pines, the most predominate tree species.  If they all die it will be far, far worse than when all my red bay trees were killed by the laurel wilt disease  that ravaged the southeast US about 10 years ago

.  https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/Forest-Health/Forest-Insects/Pine-Bark-Beetles

 

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spockvr6
On 9/5/2018, 3:20:02, Walt said:

After the hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, I had some slash pines die, but that pales to what's happening now. My property is covered with slash pines, the most predominate tree species.  If they all die it will be far, far worse than when all my red bay trees were killed by the laurel wilt disease  that ravaged the southeast US about 10 years ago

.  https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/Forest-Health/Forest-Insects/Pine-Bark-Beetles

 

Walt-

There are some giant slash pines around my neighborhood that appear, to my eyes at least, to have almost immediately gone into a decline and died this year.  Quite a few I saw yesterday were tagged for removal and a few of these were absolute beasts and not too far from houses (ie. lots of $ to remove).    Im guessing it must have been the same issue as you are seeing.

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spockvr6
On 7/11/2018, 9:28:53, Walt said:

 

My biggest palm loss were my two Syagrus botryophora. I had both tied with ropes (anchored) in hopes that the palms wouldn't be blown over at the roots (like I've seen in photos).

Walt-

I lost 4 botryophora from Irma as well.  They pitched over just as you described seeing in photos :-)  I didnt even bother trying to right them and hope for recovery.

 

On 7/11/2018, 9:28:53, Walt said:

 

 

 

 

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spockvr6

As we are sharing busted up palm trees from Irma......one of my outdoor cams caught one of my old Sabals getting snapped in half partially up the trunk.  This broken top half bounced off the roof and surprising only lightly damaged a few shingles.  I couldnt even budge the broken section on the ground without cutting it into a myriad of smaller pieces, so I have no idea how heavy it was other than....heavy.

 

Sabal Palmetto Snap

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DoomsDave
On 7/12/2018, 6:30:13, Walt said:

Alex, the tree's canopy girth is so big that it acts as a sail (wind area) to multiply the wind force. The sandy soil was wet, root system shallow -- and the trees just topple!

But surprisingly, my coconut fared better than 99% of my other palms, trees, shrubs, etc.!

Another reason to plant (wind resistant) palms!

We get winds out here in Tierra d'La La, and they take down big Ficus trees, sometimes roots and all.

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DoomsDave
On 7/11/2018, 6:28:53, Walt said:

I put together some video and photos I took shortly after Hurricane Irma came roaring by west of me. I finally got around to editing them all together and making a YouTube video showing the damage caused by Irma to my palms, trees, shrubs, etc. Fortunately, virtually no damage was done to my house, other than some aluminum soffit panels came loose.

My biggest palm loss were my two Syagrus botryophora. I had both tied with ropes (anchored) in hopes that the palms wouldn't be blown over at the roots (like I've seen in photos). But the ropes didn't help as both palm's trunks were snapped in two higher up on the trunks. As you can imagine, I wasn't a happy camper when I traversed  my entire property inspecting the damage. The clean up job was monumental. It took me 4-5 months of working 3-5 hours a day cleaning all the debris up.

Then to add insult to injury, several months after Irma, I noticed many of my slash pines starting to die. The pines, I assume from the stress Irma caused to them (breaking off many limbs) got infected with pine bark beetles. I had my palm trimmer come in with his crew and bucket truck and take down about six big slash pines, while I cut down small ones. But since then about 10 more slash pines have died, and my tree trimmer is coming back next week to take seven of them down. The other three are inaccessible in a wooded area, so they will have to rot and fall in place.

This spring I purchased eight new species of palms. Some I planted, others are still in pots. My garden, overall, is not coming back strong. I plan to do an update video (for 2018) this October, but using a drone camera to get some aerial views of my property. Other than that, I'm well over the property damage Irma caused. That's life, that's tough!

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrNfFrEWhdE&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

 

29 minutes ago, spockvr6 said:

 

 

S. botryophora are notoriously bad at surviving high winds. They're native to Brazil, which almost never gets cyclonic storms. Montgomery's took a hard hit 10+ years ago, along with a lot of other plants. http://www.montgomerybotanical.org/Pages/Katrina_Damage_Photos.htm

5b927167ad67c_tipsyb2.jpg.9c49f2ebb8b92f5b9271686ca1a_tipsyb1.jpg.0609e7cb2480f25b92716709877_tipsyb3.jpg.a49514edbd8c5a

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Walt
8 hours ago, spockvr6 said:

Walt-

There are some giant slash pines around my neighborhood that appear, to my eyes at least, to have almost immediately gone into a decline and died this year.  Quite a few I saw yesterday were tagged for removal and a few of these were absolute beasts and not too far from houses (ie. lots of $ to remove).    Im guessing it must have been the same issue as you are seeing.

Larry,  chances are the pines were killed (or in the process of dying) by pine bark beetles. It's fairly fast event once you notice a changing color of the pine needles.

I had a tree trimming company come in to take down about 8 slash pines. I also had him just top (cut off all branches but leave the trunk -- for now) two tall slash pines growing by my entry gate. These pines have pothos vines growing 40-50 feet up the trunks, so I wanted to leave the trunks for now, figuring I won't have a problem with them falling over for many years. In any event, the tree trimmer topped the pines. Well, just several days later I noticed another slash pine dying close to the topped ones -- and it wasn't dying just days earlier. That's how fast this disease works. One day you notice a discoloration (from dark green) of the needles, and within two weeks they are rusty brown (dead).

Here's some info from U of Florida:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in333

 

 

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Walt
8 hours ago, spockvr6 said:

As we are sharing busted up palm trees from Irma......one of my outdoor cams caught one of my old Sabals getting snapped in half partially up the trunk.  This broken top half bounced off the roof and surprising only lightly damaged a few shingles.  I couldnt even budge the broken section on the ground without cutting it into a myriad of smaller pieces, so I have no idea how heavy it was other than....heavy.

 

Sabal Palmetto Snap

Palms trunks are very heavy, no doubt about it. I cut many downed queen palms up into logs, and after a year of drying out they are much lighter. I will burn them up this winter.

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Walt
8 hours ago, DoomsDave said:

 

S. botryophora are notoriously bad at surviving high winds. They're native to Brazil, which almost never gets cyclonic storms. Montgomery's took a hard hit 10+ years ago, along with a lot of other plants. http://www.montgomerybotanical.org/Pages/Katrina_Damage_Photos.htm

5b927167ad67c_tipsyb2.jpg.9c49f2ebb8b92f5b9271686ca1a_tipsyb1.jpg.0609e7cb2480f25b92716709877_tipsyb3.jpg.a49514edbd8c5a

I bought three more S. botryophora palms from Florabunda. I will pot grow them until next spring, then plant each one in a different area, hoping at least one area will be more winde resistant if I were to get another hurricane. The two S. bots. I had, I tied with ropes (3 -point), in hopes of keeping them upright, as I recall seeing photos where they were snapped off at the base (at ground). But in my case, both palms were snapped 10-15 feet up the trunk, above where I had the ropes tied.

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