The Great Storm of 1987 and the associated arboreal devastation

In the UK we quite arguably have it lucky, in terms of climate. Generally, the weather is relatively calm, and very strong winds are a rarity as a result. However, we do experience erratics, and during 15-16 October of 1987 the Great Storm hit. This storm graced with UK, France, Spain, Belgium, and The Channel Islands with winds peaking at 134mph, and therefore was massivelely destructive. From an arboricultural perspective, a huge number of trees (of which many were mature, and some very famous – such as Sevenoaks, which technically became Oneoak) were uprooted, and some areas were left rather barren afterwards. For a really good set of images showing how trees were impacted, the book entitled In the Wake of the Hurricane is a good book to purchase (they are absurdly cheap on Amazon, though there are different editions for different regions of the UK that were hit by the storm).

Back on topic, whilst my parents were going through some old family photos this morning they came across a series of cards showing how the local area was impacted by the Great Storm. Wonderfully, many had trees in the images, and I have shared them below as I don’t imagine these images are online anywhere.

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In this image, what looks like a mature sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) has fallen onto a parked car and completely written it off!
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Here, a red phone box stands nonchalantly amongst a scene of arboricultural devastation. I imagine these trees were oaks (Quercus robur) within the park alongside.
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Outside of a swimming pool (which has now also been demolished), two large trees have fallen and are being cleared by the most smartly-dressed axe-wielding man ever to grace that location.
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This scene shows how two conifers (probably x Cuprocyparis leylandii) have uprooted and fallen towards a property. One has actually struck the roof, probably causing some damage.
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Another conifer (again most likely x Cuprocyparis leylandii) can be seen to have uprooted. The two children atop the stem give a sense of proportion to the size of this tree.
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A much smaller conifer in this image can be seen to have a slight lean. I don’t know whether flying roof panels caused this tree to lean, or whether the wind did.
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The line of Arboreus invisibilia in this image were swept away to the point that they were replaced with an advertisement for polo mints.
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The Great Storm of 1987 and the associated arboreal devastation

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