Medford Trees Succumb to Hurricane Irene

This Maple Tree Took Out an SUV as Its Last Act - Hurricane Irene, Medford MA

Maple Tree Takes Out an SUV as Its Last Act - Hurricane Irene, Medford MA

Medford Trees Take A Hit from Hurricane Irene.  My dad and I were checking out this downed tree on West Street in Medford when the policeman told us that “you can’t count the number of trees down in Medford”.  We decided to go for a drive around West Medford to see the damage.  Check out the Hurricane Irene in Medford slide show below.

The damage caused by Hurricane Irene in Medford certainly could have been much worse. But it was terrible to see so many trees and large branches come down.  The winds weren’t as bad as anticipated and from what we observed, in almost every case, the trees that came down were compromised in some way – most with root systems that had been cut for sidewalks, landscaping, or who knows what.

One sad exception was the largest tree we saw – a beautiful tree on Laurel Street that fell across the street towards Hasting Park in West Medford.  It had a huge root system that had ripped from the ground.  My father guessed that the slightly higher elevation here meant that the wind gusts were just that much stronger.

We were lucky I guess.  A more powerful storm than Hurricane Irene would have wreaked havoc in Medford.  My dad remembers the trees coming down in the Hurricane of ’38 in Cambridge.  Just minutes after he and his friends went inside, the supermarket sign nearby came flying off, nearly hitting a policeman standing on the corner.  Trees went down all over his Cambridgeport neighborhood.

The first house I ever owned had a Hurricane of ’38 story too.  I bought a small book in an antique store called “It Happened Here” about the hurricane in Keene, NH.  I was flipping through the pages and there was my house.  A tree had crushed the second floor taking out the chimney.  The house across the street was pictured too – it had been split in half.  Huge numbers of enormous trees came down all over Keene and New England.  The lady I bought my house from, Kay Adams, recalled huddling in the pantry with her parents as the hurricane roared.  I thought of her more than once today as Irene’s winds whistled for hours.

It pains me to think that an unusual event like today’s storm gives fodder to the tree-haters among us.   Many seem to see a damaged vehicle as a bigger deal than the loss of a tree.  I’m not suggesting, of course, that unhealthy trees shouldn’t be addressed. But it strikes me that a car or SUV is inherently a lot more dangerous than any tree.  We all need to do everything we can to preserve the trees we have and to replenish our all too spotty city tree canopy – if not for us to enjoy – for our neighbors years from now.

Here are more photos of the hurricane damage in Medford MA:

Hurricane Irene Medford MA

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