Years ago I became interested in South Carolina trees (i.e. Thorpe Woodlands). It was an instant interest because of the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. The damage to the coastal and near shore trees around the Charleston, SC area was unimaginable up until I saw it firsthand.
The pine trees pretty much all snapped off between ten and twenty feet up. The majestic live oaks survived but lost anywhere from 20% to 90% of their limbs. The sweet gum trees remained for the most part, but got “topped”. Trees with poor root structure got tipped over with the root ball being pulled out of the ground.
Recovery: Most of us homeowners bought a chainsaw if we didn’t already have one and started cutting up the downed trees and hauling them to the street. I did not call a tree service company for two reasons.
- I knew that they would be too busy to help me for weeks.
- I figured I could do anything they could.
In hindsight, the second reason was poor thought process. I had some damaged, standing trees including a live oak that would have been greatly helped by having a ISA certified arborist prune them.
I had one smaller tree, a crab apple tree that had been blown over. Not knowing anything but guessing, I pulled the tree more upright and anchored it to nearby trees. It survived and flourished for a couple decades. In my current home, the owner did the same to a medium sized silver maple. He righted it, anchored it, and now that tree is fifty feet high and beautiful twenty-five years later.
Tree fruit seemed to take a couple years to come back. I guess to allow the trees to heal.
As I look over the South Carolina forests, my trees, and the various species of trees around the Charleston area, I see full recovery from the major hurricane and the smaller ones since. “Circle of Life”. I have become friends with a local certified arborist that owns a tree service company: Palmetto Tree Service. Now you can understand my appreciation for the wooded areas of South Carolina. I figured putting some information about trees in a blog would be a good way to pass along my thoughts.