The December ice storm was not the worst of it. And it was plenty bad.
All along Rt 2, and in the wooded areas of Central Mass, the trees are bent and broken and there has been plenty of clean-up to do. Most of them hang where they are; others are trimmed back hard from the road and the leftover pieces kicked aside. It is a spooky drive west between 495 and the Connecticut River. But that was not the worst of it.
The worst of it are blocks of streets, entire neighborhoods, cutting down their trees under order of the state. Like Travis shooting Old Yeller, they do what they must -- bravely and through tears. 63 sq miles of trees are now in receivership of the Commonwealth. And nearly every tree must go. If you don't... someone else will have to, by court order. And that just ain't fittin'.
The culprit: asian longhorned beetles
The expert opinion: "the only proven method of control and eradication of this destructive insect is the complete removal of infested trees (to include stump grinding) and the removal of select adjacent host trees that have a high risk of being infested."
As you look at the piles of branches, note the size of the trees they came from. In this neighborhood, most of the growth is far above the rooftops. I thank Historyteacher50 for shooting the scene I was looking for. I drive past a view like this several times a week, and in some neighborhoods, there is not a single tree left.
This is a Googlemaps view of West Boylston St where I work. The circled hillside is bare now.
Even though it is clearly the end of everything we hold dear. Put it on the list.