Mary Tutwiler

Maintaining the urban forest, post hurricane

by Mary Tutwiler

After every hurricane there is a run on chain saws at local hardware stores, and neighborhood trees that have withstood the winds begin to topple. As many trees fall from fearful homeowners taking them down as do trees uprooted by the storm. Before you avail yourself of an ax, take a look at Daily Advertiser naturalist Bill Fontenot’s column this week. Bill lives on 50 acres at the edge of a wetland in north Lafayette/south St. Landry Parishes. He lost half a dozen trees in Ike, mostly water oaks and sweet gums. Those are on his "you-don’t-want-this-kind-of-tree-next-to-your-house" list. However, he does recommend some storm resistant varieties as buffers rather than house crushers. On the list are cypresses, live oaks and green ash trees. There’s a nicety of balance between extremes of planting groves of trees for shade and clear cutting the lot because of storm jitters. Fontenot is a great resource if you have questions before cutting. You can reach him at [email protected] , or call his nursery, Prairie Basse, 896-5576, for arboreal aid.