|Rebuilding After the Drought
|The 2012 drought caused significant damage to the State of Texas by way of loss of trees. The trails association has over six miles of trails that are owned and maintained by and for both Sherwood Trails Village residents and Elm Grove Village residents. They are for your enjoyment. Unfortunately, due to the severe drought we all endured, the trails areas suffered heavy tree loss. We lost some very large and mature trees. We were forced to cut down over 2,000 trees.
During the first phase of addressing the tree loss, we had to consider the resident's safety first. We began by cutting down as many trees that were dead as was possible with the funds that were in the budget. Most of the trees were cut and allowed to fall where they were. We removed completely any dead tree that was within ten feet of a greenbelt, entrance, or homeowner home. This took close to two years.
During the next phase over the next two years, we began to remove the trees that had further died since we began the first phase. We also began to remove the trees that we had to have cut down and were laying in the ground in the wooded areas. This took considerable time due to the fact that the drought had subsided, and the contractors had trouble getting equipment into the needed areas.
We did one section at a time. The first priority was to remove the trees around the Sherwood Trails park and pool area, the Elm Grove park and pool area, Elm Grove elementary area, and the Kingwood Park high school area. After this was completed, we began to work on the other areas.
In the outer areas of the greenbelt trails, Centerpoint Energy began to remove trees along the power lines along Woodland Hills Drive, North Park Drive, West Lake Houston Parkway, and Mills Branch Road. They cut the trees down and cut them into pieces. They then stacked them into piles. At this point, their involvement ended. The trails association had to go in and have the piles removed. Centerpoint did this several times over the course of the last four years.
At this point in time, the majority of the dead trees have been cut down and removed from the entire greenbelt system. There are some trees that were left in the greenbelt areas. These were left due their location and difficulty removing them. The other reason was to leave some trees to keep the natural look and for animals to use.
Anyone using the trails will have undoubtedly noticed how nice they look and how they have recovered or are recovering. With the loss of so many large trees, the smaller trees are now growing at a fast pace to take their place. Mother Nature is taking over.
The trails association over the past several years has reforested areas to help the areas recover from the tree losses along with Hurricanes Rita and Ike damage. Theses areas are at North Park Drive and Woodland Hills Drive to Chanay Lane by Kingwood Park high school and North Park Drive at West Lake Houston Parkway to Cascade Creek Drive. Irrigation was added to these two areas along with flowerbeds and plantings to enhance the areas. These two areas have filled in well, and the trees have grown quite a bit. Lake Houston Lawn Care donated many smaller trees that were planted along with the larger trees the trails association planted.
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