Sunday, February 27, 2011

Windthrow or Oops, There Goes Another Shade Tree!

We seem to be losing a lot of trees lately.  Most of the them are cut down by the City Council (called Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan - MPK) to make way for improvements to street-side drains.  Sometimes, however, Mother Nature takes the decision to take one of her own in a process called windthrow.

Windthrown Casuarina

Early last month, a giant, beautiful Casuarina (Rhu in Malay) tree was knocked down during a heavy wind-storm only minutes before work let out at my school.  It came crashing down across one of two popular access streets so that traffic was slowed down significantly until the tree was removed.  But, of course, I walk to work so it was no big deal except that I lost a favorite shade tree of mine, that gave me precious seconds of shade at its corner while I waited for a break in traffic in order to cross the street.

Stump and Hole
Windthrown trees often break off above the stump, but this one uprooted out of the soil and had only minor breakage above ground.  Moving in for closeup, I spied the culprits: termites.  Yes, it seems that my magnificent friend had been taken down by the tiny white "ant" variety of termite.  Too bad.  Without the shade from my departed friend, it is a hot corner now so I don't linger as much as before.

Blame it on the Termites!

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