After the Storm: Wind Damage at Our Sanctuaries

It’s no secret that the windstorm that struck on October 29-30 caused widespread damage to trees throughout the state. Maine Audubon’s eight sanctuaries around Maine were no exception, sustaining varying amounts of damage. Fortunately, no structures were damaged and no people were injured.

Gilsland Farm escaped major damage, with just eight or so trees down on trails and some simple clean-up along the main road. Our hardest hit sanctuary was most likely Mast Landing in Freeport. Generally, lone trees are more susceptible to wind damage than trees grouped in wooded areas, but we still saw plenty of damage at Mast Landing. White pines and oaks with leaves still clinging provided a wind sail effect, and a number of large trees were toppled in the woods and across hiking trails.

We’ve begun the process of cleaning up, which will generally involve making the trails passable and leaving most of the tree to decay off to the sides (in keeping with our Forestry for Maine Birds teachings, which explain how decaying woody material provides excellent habitat for birds and other wildlife).

Should you observe damage or down trees across trails at any of our sanctuaries, please feel welcome to email us so that we can address it. We want to be sure our sanctuaries remain a wonderful place to visit — for wildlife and people alike!

Trail damage at Mast Landing Audubon Sanctuary following the 2017 wind storm. (Danielle Maheu / Maine Audubon)
A cleared trail at Mast Landing following the 2017 wind storm. (Peter Baecher/Maine Audubon)