Trouble with trees

Karen and Ian Duduman’s garage might as well have a bulls-eye.

Ian and Karen Duduman survey the damage done by Saturday’s storm when a large tree limb landed on their garage

Karen and Ian Duduman’s garage might as well have a bulls-eye.

For the second time in three years, the garage roof at the Penhold-area home was damaged by broken trees from vicious storm winds.

During the Aug. 10, 2006, wind and hail storm, seven trees came down on their property four km west of Penhold, including a 50-year-old tree trunk that fell onto the garage.

On Saturday, a giant limb from the formerly two-trunk poplar tree crashed through the repaired roof.

Another limb took out the aluminum shed and playhouse in their backyard.

“I heard this CRACK and I saw the one come down over the shed,” said Karen Duduman on Tuesday about the damage from the thunderstorm that nailed much of Alberta with driving rain, wind and hail.

Her family didn’t discover the damage to the garage until Sunday.

“We actually just finished all the cleanup from that storm (three years ago) this year.”

According to Environment Canada, gusts of up to 120 km/h were reported in Red Deer.

The same storm killed a woman in Camrose when the main stage of the Big Valley Jamboree collapsed.

Elaine Johnson, urban forester with the City of Red Deer, said most trees on city land weathered the storm.

“We had a few trees blow down. Mostly in isolated areas. A couple across trails. Nothing too bad. We do have a fairly extensive tree risk management program so we do inspect trees regularly,” Johnson said.

She advises homeowners to seek a professional advice if large trees on their property suffer damage.

“I hate to see people just remove a tree because of fear if they don’t really know if it’s safe or not,” Johnson said.

“Removing a perfectly healthy tree isn’t always the best option for them. If the tree can remain, it’s a better option for the whole community.”

Trees are pretty tough and can bounce back even if they get battered, she said.

Anyone with damaged elm trees should know it’s illegal to store wood from fallen elms on their property. It must go to the city landfill to be buried to protect against Dutch elm disease. There’s also a provincial ban on pruning elms at this time of year unless they are unsafe.

Duduman is known for her scarecrow displays. Amazingly, the straw figures survived Saturday’s winds.

“This year, I did a bride and groom because our oldest son is getting married, and the scarecrows were still standing.”

She called it a “good omen” for the upcoming marriage.

“They weathered their first storm.”

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