Condition of the forests, damaged by sleet – June 2014

After the sleet at the beginning of this year, satellite imagery shows large brown patches of the land, where last year they were green and covered in vegetation. To assess the extent of the damage, we went to the most affected area.

From the images bellow it is clearly visible that the only things still standing are bare tree trunks without any canopy. It is slowly starting to regrow where the branches were broken off, but it will take at least 5-10 years for canopy to grow to its previous state. Many man hours were and will still be spent on cleaning the undergrowth to prevent the European spruce bark beetle from destroying the remaining coniferous trees.

Forest
Forest
Forest

Forest

Worst winter ever for Slovenian forests

In the beginning of February heavy sleet covered majority of the forest. Freezing cold held almost half of the country in a tight grip for days and caused thousands of the trees to be crushed under the weight of snow and ice. About 40 % of woodlands have been damaged in natural disaster. Damage was not caused only to the woods. Fallen trees disconnected many telephone and power lines, cutting off the electrical supply for entire villages.

In my location, conditions fortunately were not catastrophic. Branches have accumulated less than 2 cm of sleet in contrast to the the worst locations where the accumulated sleet was approximately 10 cm thick. Nevertheless, walking in the woods was scary as you could hear loud sounds of breaking branches all around you.

Sleet on deciduous trees
Sleet on deciduous trees

Sleet on deciduous trees