Hope if you’re reading this during Missouri’s current ice storm that your electricity stays on to keep you safe and warm…I put this picture of a warm Florida beach to transport you for moment out of the cold before I plunge back into talk of ice and trees.
The ice storm last January create a swathe of downed trees in Southwest Missouri, and it’s likely that some parts of the state will suffer the same from this new storm.
Once the storm is over and cleanup begins, though, you’ll want to know what steps to take. This .pdf file on tree care after ice storms is from our agency, the Missouri Department of Conservation. I found another one on the Web from Ontario, Canada, that provides additional visual help. For some of the trees that aren’t a hazard, you’ll need to wait until later when growth begins again to see what to do.
One result of all the downed trees from last January’s storm is an increase of wood on the ground that can create dangerous fire hazards when the season is dry. MDC Southwest Regional Forestry Supervisor Tim Stanton said deciduous forests like Missouri’s typically has about 3.5 tons of available fuel--things like downed tree limbs, dead trees, dry leaves and other plant material--per acre. He said surveys of storm-damaged areas have much more fuel. “The potential for a serious fire season is before us. It will be with us for the next three to five years.”