On August 21, 2009, a down-burst of wind slashed across Bull Pond. In an instant, massive pines were uprooted and strewn across the Bull Pond Land Trust property. Many of these pines were more than two feet in diameter and naturally leaned toward the pond; yet the intense wind threw them in the opposite direction across the land and over power lines. Other large trees were shorn off at various heights, transforming the wooded landscape to utter chaos. The pretty area that had been maintained for passive recreation was completely devastated.
The Land Trust was faced with an unsafe and unsightly property that needed to be restored as quickly as possible. As the cleanup was beyond a casual volunteer scope, the Land Trust accepted a generous offer from Kevin Boucher and Supreme Forest Products of Harwinton to remove all the downed trees and to right the uprooted stumps. Supreme’s work was completed while respecting good forestry and conservation principles.
The Trust remains most grateful to Supreme for donating its time and equipment to remove the downed trees and to restore the land. By early spring 2010, the property was once again safe for public use.
However, we found that there was still much to be done. Many of the remaining trees had been damaged and left exposed to future blow-down. Others had become stressed and were dying of disease. These trees would pose a continual management problem and a future safety risk to the public. Faced with this situation, the Trust decided that the best option for the Bull Pond property was to remove all of the trees within the affected area. The damaged area included about 1 acre within our 70 acre Bull Pond property. In June 2011, work began to remove these trees by Highland Tree, LLC of Harwinton.
By early July, the completed project had changed the appearance of the area. The area was no longer wooded, but became completely open providing a full view of Bull Pond from Locust Road. The area was covered with wood chips and in need of renovation.
Our hope was to recreate an aesthetically pleasing area that would once again be welcoming to the public. Some replanting was necessary, but our plan is to keep a portion of the area open so that it continues to provide a nice view of Bull Pond. The Trust’s long-term goal is to make our Bull Pond property a family-friendly area where residents, whether young or old, can canoe, fish, ice skate, or simply relax and enjoy nature.