Microbust During Storm Damages Arboretum
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 07:13AM
Croton Arboretum

The violent storm that brought torrential rain, quarter-sized hail and "microbursts" of strong wind to Croton and Ossining on July 29th also tore through the Arboretum, toppling about a dozen large trees and tearing off countless branches. The golf course superintendant at Hudson National witnessed the storm and saw the gusts of wind move diagonally through the Arborteum.

The National Weather Service determined that the damage in the area was caused by a "wet microburst", a very localized column of sinking air, producing damage similar to, but distinguishable from, a tornado. A wet microburst is accompanied by significant precipitation and melting ice—particularly hail—appears to play an important role in the formation of the sudden downbursts of air.

"Storm damage was terrible," said Arboretum President Karen Jescavage-Bernard. "In addition to heartbreaking damage to some of our most treasured trees, many of the large black birch trees that have been weakened by disease were broken off at their roots or pulled out of the ground. Three huge legacy trees near the entrance had limbs twisted off the trunks."

"Thankfully Danny Ferguson immediately cleared the loop trail connecting the parking lot with the gazebo, but there is at least one hanger (a partially severed limb), dangling from the tulip tree near Norma’s Garden."

"Our top priority is getting arborists to remove any dangerous hangers and to try to clean and correct damage to trunks near the trails. Our second priority is replacing lost trees —particularly near Con Edison’s right of way—before invasive brush and vines move into the Arboretum."

"We also need to cut up and clear away the massive volume of fallen limbs and tree trunks. It's an daunting job, but at least it can be done by volunteers and workers safely on the ground."

"Stay tuned to our website and newsletter for updates on this critical reforestation project."

Article originally appeared on Croton Arbotetum (http://www.crotonarboretum.org/).
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