PHOTOS: Local Artist Battles Ice-Covered Trees At Her Burien Home
Burien-based Artist Maureen Hoffmann had a tough week – she was home sick, AND she suffered damage from the storm(s) to both her home as well as to the trees and bushes in her yard on Maplewild Ave SW.
As anyone who lost power this week will attest, ice-covered trees were not a good thing, as many that fell from the added weight knocked down power lines. Plus, many trees and plants may never fully recover from the damage they suffered from this extraordinary weather event.
Here’s Maureen’s first-hand report, including photos:
I am grateful that my roof was not damaged, nor me, my car or any other more permanent property!
“Mature planting” is what the real estate market calls this kind of full, heavily-shrubbed, wooded locale. It also lends itself to greater damage when snow and freezing rain come along.
I had been holed up here at home for 5 days with snow and a sore throat. Yesterday, a friend picked me up on the snowy roads and took me to lunch, then dropped me back off at home. When I trudged up my driveway, I was stunned. That absolutely lovely Stewartia tree that was at the southwest corner of my house had been rotted at the base and its 5 big trunks split and splayed out like an open hand, with one leader landing on my house. It must have fallen slowly. There was no damage to the roof and only the gutter was dented. I contacted an arborist, who then charged an exorbitant “emergency” fee just to get the tree off my roof. I had to remove the tree and he knew it.
I NEVER imagined that tree would come down! But the snow, coupled with freezing rain and 3/8″ of an ice coating on everything was too much.
The power had been out all day, and still was by nightfall, so I came in and made a nice fire and sat there until the power came back on late in the evening.
This morning, I looked out the front window toward the 100 foot high cypress that stood at the roadside at the corner of my parking area and half of it was missing! (I had just commented yesterday to several people how nervous I felt about that tree with its heavy lean toward the wires, telephone pole and street.) Apparently, one main trunk had come down sometime in the night/morning and the city crews had cut it up to clear the road.
The other cypress trunk HAD to come down immediately and it made me nervous as every minute passed while it still stood. With the raw gash on its side where the first trunk had pulled away, it weakened the tree all the more.
A Seattle City Light truck was parked down the street. I walked over, talked to a guy who gave me the main dispatch phone number. They said they’d be out in a couple of hours and would cut the tree down at no charge (!!!) because it was a potential danger to all the lines on the street. After paying the high fee yesterday, I was relieved at the free removal today.
At the north side of my house, what had once been a tall column of yew tree, had been transformed into a Dr. Seuss version of a yew:
Unfortunately, yew does not snap back into shape once it’s been deformed by snow and ice. So my big yew will be cut down to about 4 feet and I’ll let it grow as it wishes.
The beautiful, big rhodie at the bottom of my driveway was also dramatically broken, but salvageable.
Maureen also writes a great blog that’s worth a regular read – check it out here.