A Vancouver arborist says strong winds from the storm made short work of trees thanks to a long drought-like summer.
Milan Pecaric of BC Tree Service says trees showing signs of weakness long before the storm.
And he says we could see it again next year.
“We had a really dry summer this year and a lot of trees are stressed. Even before this windstorm we’ve seen a lot of sudden limb falls where trees were just shedding branches.”
“Before this windstorm happened, trees were actually putting themselves into a dormant stage just to protect themselves. We’re going to see next year which trees actually start to die off from this, some will not recover, and if we start getting more winds and more dryness there’s going to be an ongoing situation.”
Pecaric says when the trees were smashed by wind from the South, a direction they aren’t braced for – many simply couldn’t handle it.
City to re-assess their “urban forest”
With concerns that some storm damage was due to trees weakened by the bone-dry summer, the City of Vancouver says it’s planning ahead.
A long, hot, dry summer, and an extreme storm: A deadly combination for Vancouver’s trees.
And a potent reminder about climate change.
Deputy city manager Sadhu Johnston says City Hall says is getting the message, and reassessing how it manages it’s so-called urban forest.
“Planting more trees that can take extreme heat, and droughts, and likely windier conditions.”
Johnston says the city wrote just such a scenario into it’s 2012 climate adaptation plan.
“Council directed staff to develop an urban forests strategy, which looks at the trees in our city as a forest, but the changing conditions with the climate. And as a part of that, we’re reassessing the types of trees that we’re planting.”