Friday, May 8, 2009

Watch It Bud . . How “Bloomie” Are Things After Bloomie’s Falls? (Revisited- #3)

This is our third post in a series where we are watching the Honey Locust trees on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade this spring to see how well they might recover from the Waterfalls project that was self-congratulatoryly masterminded by Mayor Bloomberg last year. Our first two posts were:

Watch It Bud . . How “Bloomie” Are Things After Bloomie’s Falls? (Monday, April 27, 2009).

Watch It Bud . . How “Bloomie” Are Things After Bloomie’s Falls? (Revisited- #2) (Friday, May 1, 2009)

So far the news has been bad and continues that way: Trees are not recovering well. At least one mature very large tree may not come back. (See photo above, click to enlarge.)

Depending upon how badly affected individual trees are, the dieback induced by the salt shock causes new budding growth to be much further from the tips of the branches or tree limbs. The large mature tree that appears barren and almost totally dead has virtually no newly sprouting growth from tree limbs but has new sprouting that is atypically mostly directly from the tree trunk itself. Other of the more substantially stressed trees show this trunk-sprouting reaction to a greater or lesser extent.

Different trees that were close to the falls have been affected to differing extents. Last summer and fall Parks Depart workers spent substantial time and energy trying to rescue the trees and counteract the effect of the salt by pouring streams of water on the trees closest to the salt-spewing Waterfalls. It is possible that some trees benefitted more from these rescue effects that others, possibly because they might have had more water poured on them.

(Last fall)

Here are pictures showing the status of the “bud watch” today.

A Control Group: Healthy Honey Locust Trees That Were Far from the Waterfalls

Here are photos (click to enlarge) of healthy Honey Locust trees budding. (As we previously noted, you have to walk far to get a good control group because the salt spay from the falls affected trees on the Promenade to some extent as far away as Clark Street.) On the healthy trees the buds are opening robustly all along the branches right out to the tips.

Most Damaged Honey Locust Trees

Here are photos (click to enlarge) of Honey Locust tree buds on trees that were near the Waterfalls and are struggling to come back. (See also the opening photo.) On some the budding is not as robust and there is no budding at the branch tips indicating that there may be a fair amount of dieback from which the tree will need to recover. On others large limbs are showing little sign of life. If anything, these trees ought to be further along at this point since they are located where they get more sun.

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