The Death of a Pond Pine

Early in 2002 students from the Downe Township Elementary School visited my nature center.

During my various talks with the teachers and students I often made reference to the dying Pond Pine on the property.

In just a few months, the tree has begun to show the devastating effects of salt water intrusion.

The edges of a Downe Township salt pond show the effects of salt water intrusion.

Fox Tails grow beneath the sweeping wings of the tree branches.

When breezes blow quietly across the meadow the pine branch tips caress the tall Fox Tails.

The majestic pine branches reach out touching the harbinger of the tree's soon complete death.

October, 2002

The large pine shows three stages of death.

The upper right section is dark black and totally dead. Branches, twigs and cones will be torn from the tree during the driving winter rains and heavy snow fall.

The lower central section is a mix of green needles, green cones and brown needles and cones.

The upper left section is still a reasonably healthy green with full branches thick with cones for harvest.

In the right picture one can see that the tree is completely dead.

The death of the this beautiful pine could have been caused by man.

Some say the oceans are rising because warming temperatures are melting polar ice caps.

I know from test borings taken by geologists during the summer of 2001 that an area less than 500 feet from this tree was at one time beach front shoreline of the Delaware Bay...about 200,000 years ago.

Time and tide wait for no man.

Photographs and copy
by Bernard Sayers                           Return to Bernie Sayers' Personal Page   Return to HOME Page