The old Dodge truck, lower left, escaped tree tragedy one more time! We had not yet cleaned up all the downed silver leaf poplars surrounding it from a late September snow storm in 2009. And October 3, 2013 has proven to be just as disastrous. We received an inch of rain throughout the day which turned to snow at dusk, freezing the rain drops clinging to the leaves and encasing them in ice. This is a deadly combination for the trees.
This mature chokecherry tree hangs heavy on the ground. I attempted to shake some of the snow off, but found the branches laden with ice. This is going to take some new approach. Avalanche tactics will not work here.
Poor little fruit trees have gone from steer assaults to weather extremes. What makes people think they can grow trees in Wyoming??? In autumn, buck deer scrape the bark from deciduous trees, as well as needles and branches from evergreen trees by rubbing their horns against the trunks to remove the velvet; cattle eat young saplings and strip the low hanging leaves; years of drought with inadequate rain and snow kills mature trees; freezing autumn blizzards breaks branches and limbs full of foliage; freak wind storms can rip trees from the ground; and porcupines can decimate a Ponderosa or Austrian pine in one meal. And then there are the beetles and bugs, virus and blight, worms and borers to contend with. Still want to plant a tree?
The mighty cottonwoods are no match for snow and ice. Their leaves were just beginning to turn bright yellow when this storm hit–so much for autumn colors this year!