Hurricane Sandy, in October 2012, left many damaged and dead trees in the New York City area. Residents complained to city departments that the dead trees posed a threat of falling over or breaking apart, harming anyone underneath. The Brooklyn Paper published the July 17, 2013 story, “Run for your lives, Brooklyn! The zombtrees are coming,” explaining:
“A salty plague that superstorm Sandy wrought upon Brooklyn’s trees has some Bay Ridge residents worried that once-healthy, now-dead arbors are threatening the lives of pedestrians and drivers from across the borough — and the city isn’t doing enough about the looming zombie-tree scourge.”
“Zombtree” (zombie+ tree) appears to be an original portmanteau word, but “zombie tree” was used before. “We (Vermont—ed.) have a forest full of zombie trees: dead, but they don’t know it” was cited in print on August 23, 2009.
Vermont is going to look like that
In the next few years. We’ve been watching the slow-motion failure of several species of trees. It’s fascinating in a macabre way. Many trees remain very green-looking for several years after the death blow has been dealt. We have a forest full of zombie trees: dead, but they don’t know it.
@mataliandy on twitter
by mataliandy on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:53:22 AM PDT
Robertson Tree Service
Zombie Trees – Summer Of The Living Dead
Written on September 22, 2010 by john
Here in Texas, the 2010 ripping hot summer season showed us the absolute limits of our air conditioners and brought the pain to our trees and other landscaping elements. If you live here, you won’t have to go too far to find the evidence: zombie trees and shrubs.
What’s a “zombie tree?”
I describe a zombie tree as one that appears to have a sign of life in it but will most likely never rebound from the damage. The foliage is usually dried in appearance and the majority of it has fallen off the tree. If you see a tap-root near the surface of the soil or even exposed, this is the tree adapting to dry deep-soil conditions and the tree is attempting to collect water from shallow soil where the sprinkler systems are. The bad news for the tree is that this becomes a liability for the tree in super-hot summer weather.
The Standing Dead! Zombie trees come to life w/ little paper leaves http://wp.me/p2EfKA-1s #tacticalurbanism #citystreets #Denver @mpurbanist
2:26 PM - 15 Aug 12
The Cherry Creek News (Cherry Creek, CO)
Coloradans warned of zombie tree danger
Thursday, 27 June 2013 20:19 Staff
Those living in or visiting the mountains of northern Colorado this summer should be aware that dead lodgepole pines in beetle-kill areas are now falling en masse, based on observations from foresters in Grand County.
Ron Cousineau, district forester for the Colorado State Forest Service Granby District, says that foresters have been anticipating a major falling event for years, following the mountain pine beetle outbreak. He says that in addition to standing dead snags, recreationists also need to be aware of the risk of “widowmakers” – trees that have already partially fallen and remain hung up in another standing tree.
The Brooklyn Paper
July 17, 2013 / Brooklyn news / Bay Ridge
Run for your lives, Brooklyn! The zombtrees are coming
By Colin Mixson
If the city doesn’t take care if its dead-tree problem, then the dead trees are going to take care us.
A salty plague that superstorm Sandy wrought upon Brooklyn’s trees has some Bay Ridge residents worried that once-healthy, now-dead arbors are threatening the lives of pedestrians and drivers from across the borough — and the city isn’t doing enough about the looming zombie-tree scourge.
New York City • Buildings/Housing/Parks • Wednesday, July 17, 2013 • Permalink