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Mariton – Hurricane Sandy: Nature’s Reboot

November 9, 2012

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Hurricane Sandy hit Mariton pretty hard.  We are very thankful that there was no damage to the buildings and people.  We are so much luckier than so many people. 

I realize that people familiar with Mariton are wondering what the effects were.  It is pretty hard to take photos that actually show you the extent of the damage from the ground.  Brush and downed trees seem to block the view of all the other down trees.  Getting a sense of scale is also difficult to get from photos.    The above photos are from the Kit Trail looking west.  More than the trees on the ground, you should be looking at how few trees are standing in the sky.

The above photo is taken from the western side of the blowdown looking back towards the Kit Trail.  Again, you can’t see how many trees are on the ground, but you can see all of the space in the skyline that should be filled with standing trees.

The photo below is taken from the Spruce Trail looking west.  This was the Dark Habitat.  About half of this old spruce plantation was flattened.

There are three areas on the Preserve with extensive blowdowns.  When you walk the trails and look at the damage you will ask yourself what was the wind doing in this location?  Why did these trees blow over, yet that dead snag with extensive rot remained standing?  I am still scratching my head about that, and trying to answer the same questions. 

In the grand scheme of things, trees will regrow.  Many of the downed trees will send up stump sprouts.  If you have walked through the meadows, you know just how quickly a forest can begin regrowing.  However, we will have to be especially vigilant over the next few years to control the invasives that will also take advantage of all the sunlight.  It will be interesting to see how the forest responds.

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