Falling Trees

Mike has recently written Precautionary Tree Removal, about his plans to remove some trees around his house for safety reasons. Smart fellow! Around here, of course, the big danger is falling trees killed by the 2011 fire.

One day in October, a hiker in Bandelier National Monument’s backcountry stopped along Frijoles Creek to have lunch and cool her feet in the water. She took off her backpack and put it just behind her on the creek bank. A breeze came up, and she heard a sharp CRAACCK right overhead. She looked up and then very quickly sprang to the other side of the creek, just as a burned Ponderosa pine fell right where she had been sitting, crushing her backpack but very narrowly missing her. She came back shaken and scratched, but her swift realization of the situation and fast reaction kept her from serious injuries.
The Jemez Post

Bandelier is warning people:

Hikers, and even those driving through burned areas with dead trees, need to be alert and plan ahead. Don’t choose those places to hike or drive on windy days, and seriously consider turning back if it becomes windy or a storm approaches. Listen for the sound of breaking trunks or branches, and stay out of the reach of nearby dead trees. Besides personal danger, there is the possibility that the road could be blocked by down trees.

As you know, we do know about fallen trees blocking roads, and destroying fences!


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8 Responses to Falling Trees

  1. Great advice! I worry about falling trees on our property – This post is a reminder that we need to get rid of some of those worries before those worries become a reality.
    Kim – Life at Golden Pines´s last blog post ..An Unhappy Scottie

  2. Cathy in NZ says:

    I guess at times, we see the tree still upright even though it’s burnt and only just standing a thread of earth/root it’s only support – a great reminder for sure…

    when I saw the title of your post immediately through “oh no, Andy”… but still a good reminder for both of you of the dangers. But aside from that the achievements you have both made rebuilding a replenishing your little space of land

    • Jean says:

      It’s been six years now, and a lot of them are still standing. Andy says he hopes one doesn’t fall towards him. Nowadays he’s not nearly as agile as that gal was! There is a wind advisory now, so he may have to clear some trees off the road. I will let you know!. 🙂

  3. Rummuser says:

    Phew! No chance of me ever being caught like that. My hiking days are over and done with!
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Life’s Questions.

  4. Mike says:

    Trees like that and broken limbs or treetops stuck up high are sometimes called “widow-makers.” It’s estimated that about 11% of fatal chainsaw accidents result from widow-makers.
    Mike´s last blog post ..An Interesting Read

  5. tammy j says:

    she was indeed lucky.
    gives a whole to meaning to ‘hiking in the woods.’
    our wind here would have them falling down in no time.
    it’s a constant. perhaps it would be helpful in that situation. I don’t know!
    tammy j´s last blog post ..moving on old bean

    • Jean says:

      She was also quick-witted and fast! Andy and I would have been creamed. 🙂

      The advantage of the wind is it does blow the trees down — when we drive up we can see which areas are windy and which aren’t. But even in the windy areas there are still plenty of trees standing even after six years.

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