@ Newsdesk: Some Real Losses at the Lege

A blog-land report on last week's collision of politics and meteorology

There's been a smell of fresh sawdust and chain-saw fumes on the state Capitol grounds since Wednesday's storm, as trees that had survived the vicissitudes of Texas weather for decades, possibly more than a century, were destroyed and had to be sliced up and taken away.

"It was pretty awful," said Julie Fields, spokeswoman for the State Preservation Board. Seven mature trees, mostly white oaks, were blown over or so severely damaged by the 60 to 75 mph winds that they had to be cut down. "Obviously, the uprooted trees we will have to clear out, but we're consulting with the Forest Service to see what can be saved," added Fields.

The process of clearing the larger slabs should take a couple of days. Smaller debris will be going in the chipper, but even though the gnarled boughs and uneven trunks of the Capitol copse won't provide any long slices of lumber, that's a lot of timber going spare. So what does the board plan to do with it? Well, normally when they have to take a tree down from the grounds, it either goes for souvenirs in the Capitol gift shop or gavels for the next legislative session.


austinchronicle.com/newsdesk

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Capitol, State Preservation Board, white oaks

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