Denver – Tens of thousands of trees killed by last year’s November freeze

“Bark is peeling off. Pine needles and leaves are browning and falling to the ground early. Many trees never produced leaves or fruit. And some trees that are beyond repair are getting the ax altogether,” writes Elizabeth Hernandez in the Denver Post.

The culprit? On Nov. 10, 2014, temperatures plummeted from 58 degrees F to 16 degrees F in a matter of hours.

Many trees were instantly flash-frozen. For others, the sudden, intense temperature drop damaged their cores before they were winter-ready.

Of the 2.2 million trees in the city, Denver forester Rob Davis estimates that tens of thousands are dead from the November frost.

Thanks to Pieter for this link

“If this is any indication of what more pronounced variability will do .. especially to commercial crops … reminds of the decimated herds of cattle in the Dakotas several years back that got drenched then frozen before their winter coats were in place,” says Pieter.

12 thoughts on “Denver – Tens of thousands of trees killed by last year’s November freeze

  1. Sounds more like Pine Beatle damage, Pine trees are known for withstanding extreme cold. Oaks and other trees not so much so.

  2. There is indeed a lot of evidence to show that THE GULF STREAM has been DISAPPEARING for the past year, and even the MET office is predicting a “KILLER WINTER” for the UK & Europe for 2015-2016. There have also been many signs of “abnormally cold temperatures” around the globe during this past years or so, and especially this summer in the UK in Scotland with failed crops. The 3 month report given by the BBC on 31st August, admitted that this summer was 2-3 degrees colder than average for the entire UK, and one of the wettest on record:-

    • Problem is that the opposite of the MetO predictions is what usually happens. I want a brutal winter but if they are saying so it will probably be very warm now. Unless, of course, the Met are getting forecasts from somebody competent.

  3. I work in tree removal and the trees here in Illinois look worse than I ever seen I think a weak sun means less vitamins for plants which causes more scab scale mold and insect infestation

  4. I would think it would be interesting to know if there are sufficient trace elements in the soils for healthy growth. If there are deficiencies the trees and plants are unlikely to withstand adverse climatic conditions, insects or disease.

  5. upset a (most varieties)pine tree and it doesnt usually regenerate.
    whatever cause dry /cold/fire/ flooded whatever.
    those tough pinon types seem to cope not the others.
    in Aus were losing all the cypress pines from some fungal bug
    the real weird bit is?
    the variegated golden of the same breed seem to be surviving, the all green ones cark it in a matter of months

  6. Sad, but with 2.2 million trees and 10’s of thousands dead…say 50,000/2,200,000 = 2% of the trees. Not really in a natural setting, a city where temp swings are more pronounced than in the middle of a forest. FWIW, because of email, electronic books and less heating with wood, there are actually many many more trees in the US than 25 years ago.

  7. The summary here doesn’t mention that we (Denver area) also had a freeze and heavy snow on Mother’s Day (May 10th, 2015) – just like last year (May 12, 2014).
    Also had snow on September 12, 2014 – a whole four months of Summer.
    It’s a tough place to sustain trees. Weather (cold, drought) weakens the trees for insect attack (e.g., pine beetles).

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