Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Nature of Wind Damage

Dead Blackwood
20 metres high

Regular readers will be aware that Robertson was subject to extreme winds, at the time that the outer suburbs of Sydney were subject to bushfires, on Sunday 24 September.
The damage from those winds was immediate.
Parts of Robbo were blacked out for 36 hours. I was only off for 12 hours. But it often takes a while to collect a set of photos which might portray the real strength of the winds.

Vines still entangled
This grand old Blackwood was an important tree in the Robertson Rainforest - for the amount of vines, ferns, Epyphytic Orchids, etc which it supported. But it was a dead tree, weakened by fungal attack, no doubt. It is not surprising that it fell in the strong winds.

It was at least 25 metres tall - a grand tree, in its day.

I am reminded of Paul Hogan's great line, from Crocodile Dundee, "That's not a knife - this is a real knife". Well this is a real fallen tree, folks!

A huge "Brown Barrel" (Eucalyptus fastigata)narrowly missed a house in East Kangaloon, when it fell. The house is a picturesque grey cottage, which was once a church, and would be familiar to many people in the district. The roof is damaged, but the garage adjacent to the house is flattened - totally flattened. It was a very lucky escape for the residents.

But what a clean-up job!!!

I paced out the height of the tree, and counted 35 paces. Something approaching 115 feet (allowing for some innacuracies in my pace measurements). Not a bad tree.

It is common for large trees to fall after rain. This storm was in a dry spell. So the soil was not so soft. The tree's huge tap root (visible just over the rear of my vehicle) was snapped off. What a mighty effort, to do that.

What does not show is that the tree had two trunks, so there is a second left-hand trunk which you do not see in this photo. It is just over the other side, and it destroyed the garden of the adjacent property.

Now, that's a big tree!

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