Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Springtime snow damage

Let me tell you why this Grand Fir is not so grand in my books right now.

I managed to get to Vancouver before the snow fell this weekend, and when I phoned to check in with my housesitting friend, I was surprised to hear that we had about six inches of snow on Friday night. She warned me that a branch had fallen and she was right . . . This would have done serious damage should anyone have been walking underneath when it fell. It's a limb from the Grand Fir that grows on the city boulevard adjoining our yard -- we've asked the city before to check out its hazards, and we'll get a bit more forceful about that now. The branch is too heavy for me to move on my own -- this portion is at least six inches in diameter.

I'm pleased that it missed the ginkgo, but I wish it could have steered clear of my pride and joy, the Corylus Avellana 'Red Majestic' we planted last fall, having paid an extravagant amount for it. I've enjoyed its purple catkins and was getting excited about seeing the leaves opening along its twisted stems.

It still doesn't look like much in a photograph, but here's a closer look.

And here is the sad, sad news -- I've traced around the damage:That's right. At the moment, the shrub is nicely shaped with two reasonably symmetrical branches. But one branch has been broken almost right through, and I'm going to have to make a clean break for it and then see how it does. I suspect (hope, at least) it will recover fairly well, but it will take some time and look awkward in the meantime.

Also in the meantime, I'm going to be looking up anxiously as I walk in and out of the yard for the next while.

In fact, I noticed numerous flowering cherry trees (or possibly ornamental plums) around town that had been grievously injured by this unseasonal snowfall. The fact that the trees had leafed out and were in flower seems to have caused them to hold more of the snow. I've never seen this kind of widespread tree damage here from earlier snowfalls -- the timing seems to have played a significant part. Two gorgeous trees outside my office have broken limbs affecting perhaps one-third of the tree, and I saw several more along our Nanaimo Seawall undergoing amputation of their damaged limbs.


  1. Oh no! Of course, glad no one was injured. But that's so sad about your wonderful Corylus. Fingers crossed it recovers!

  2. The weather around here has been ridiculous. So this is our punishment for 50 years of obliviousness.

  3. Hopefully the Corylus will recover. Did the snow damage any of your other plants, I know from pictures in earlier blog you had lots of spring blooms/growth. Will it make you made to know I got sunburned in Boston? Blue skies every day!!
    PS you're right about Kathy we have
    a great baby sister.

  4. I confess that my flip flops are finally on, although my marrow is still frosty from the bitter Easterly winds we had last week.
    I have a vague memory of it snowing on May Day once, so I am keeping my thermals ready till then!
    I am glad you liked the bicycle photos, and thank you for praising the beauty of Kitty, she harbours a slim desire to be a model but she is such a tiny thing I doubt she will make the grade height wise.

  5. Thomas: couldn't get sunny too quickly for me.
    Hil: I never think of you having a baby sister, but I guess Kathy does qualify. She's the baby sister of a Boston Marathoner!
    Alison: Reminds me of what my mom used to say: Change not a clout / 'til May is out -- we always found it frustrating 'cause we wanted to break out the shorts and tank tops!


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