Sunday, December 29, 2013

Welcoming in 2014!

We never know what a New Year will bring us - happiness, sadness, sunny days, stormy nights, summer rain showers, or foggy evenings. 

And sometimes even ice storms.

We've all heard the expression just 'roll with the punches' or as in the photo at right- 'bend with the branches'.

Sometimes we have to do that. . . just step back away from the situation and see what happens. Occasionally, out of unfortunate events beyond our control, there is a deep beauty and personal growth that occurs within us and around us. We just have to look beyond the current situation.

Stony Creek, Henderson, NY

Our northern neighbors recently experienced a severe ice storm. Sometimes we're not prepared for something as damaging as this. Some lost power for several days and had to find comfort (heat, lights and food) in local shelters.

And even after the power came back on the ice still hadn't melted. It was too cold up there for the ice to start melting. The ground and trees were covered in thick ice.

We were lucky in that even though we received freezing rain overnight our temperature never dropped low enough to produce these heavily ice-coated landscapes.

Ice accumulates when extremely cold rain freezes on contact with surfaces (like grass, tree branches, vehicles, etc.) that are below the freezing point.

Entire trees or branches may break from the weight of the ice. One-half inch of accumulated ice can add an extra 500 pounds to a power line.

Major damage to trees can cause future problems that can possibly increase susceptibility to insect damage and disease.

Never try to remove branches or trees from utility lines. Let the professionals do that. And also, if any electrical lines or phone lines are down in your area stay away from them. They could possibly be back fed by someone's portable generator. Assume all power, telephone, and cable lines that are down are "hot" and could cause serious injuries or even death. Telephone and cable lines can be energized from coming in contact with power lines. 

If you received ice storm damage first determine if any trees or limbs are a threat to you or your property. And be aware that ice falling off tree limbs, power lines, and buildings can also be hazardous. After the ice is gone do a personal assessment of your property. Some trees that received major damage probably will have to be removed.

Pruning or removing your own trees is serious work and if you are not experienced with tree removal you are exposing yourself to possibly serious injuries from chain saws and falls from ladders.

For trees with broken tops remove the broken limbs down to the next major interior branch. If you can, avoid cutting off the entire top of the tree otherwise known as 'topping' the tree. If you top the tree it can possibly lead to weaker branches that might lead to future damage.

If the tree is only partially damaged pruning those branches can restore the tree. You do not have to treat the trunk or limbs with tree paint. Research shows that paint can trap moisture in the bark that causes rot and decay.

You can see the damaged limbs on this large tree on the right.

Here is an article and some beautiful slides from Canada from the recent ice storm. Scroll down to see the slides:

May the 'frost' be with you   . . .
to be able to withstand any curves that come your way in the upcoming year!

Thanks for visiting and hope you enjoyed your tour of the icy north.


  1. I love the beautiful ice even though it is damaging. We arrived at the lake late last night. All the ice is melted but several big trees have lost large branches along the water side. We so enjoy your blog and pictures. We will take your advice when pruning these limbs.

    1. I love the ice too, especially when it is glistening in the sun. That's good news that the ice is melted up there. It's so hard to walk around the yard when it's a sheet of ice like that. Thanks so much for your comments.

  2. those photos could have been taken here back in 2008. The power companies have been clearing limbs away from the lines in New Hampshire all summer so no matter where you go you see the newly cut areas on the trees. Hopefully this will help in keeping the electricity going if we get another ice storm this winter. Thanks Sue

  3. Thanks for your comments Judy. We got hit pretty bad here in 2008 as well. We lost power for almost a week. With this storm we were right on the edge of it and the major factor that helped us is that our temperature stayed around 34 the entire time. It definitely helps when the power companies keep the trees trimmed back. I think it results in less damage to the lines and trees.

  4. I feel bad for you folks, but glad I am in Florida 70's Hope all back to normal for you.

    1. Thanks Barb. Yes, luckily we didn't get it too bad here in our town. The photos are from the Town of Henderson which is about 30 miles north of us near Lake Ontario. Our temperatures aren't too bad now - about 36. At least it's above freezing, but your 70's sound better to me!

  5. So many of us got the same ice storm. It was incredibly beautiful as you photos show, but also the damage of broken and split trees.

    1. The ice melted off of most of the trees up there now, but there is still a lot of ice on the ground. Sometimes when the ice is on the trees for an extended period of time and the trees are bent over pretty good they never return to their upright state. Thanks for commenting.