You know, I’ve had this thought that occurred to me recently. Just the other day I was grilling on my back porch and thinking about how hot it was. So then I thought, is my memory just deceiving me, or did it really get hotter in the recent years? I then thought about the days before Charley, and I know it seems like it was a long time ago, but I remember August 13th, 2004 like it was yesterday. It was the day that Mother Nature reminded us that she’s the boss and brought us that hurricane. I have a great deal of memories that flood my mind when the topic comes up. One of the most vivid of all though is in the following weeks how hot it was. After power was restored we received a great deal of calls indicating that there must be something wrong with their air conditioner. It just isn’t keeping up anymore. We ran call after call and came across the same issue. We finally came to the conclusion that the lack of shade created by Charlie’s tree pruning had a huge effect on how our air conditioners ran. Another thought is that with a great deal less trees to block the sun from hitting the ground, buildings and streets more heat was absorbed and stayed around a great deal longer. Remember that canopy of trees along Periwinkle Way just after Casa Ybel Rd?
I spend a great deal of time suggesting that my readers do things here and do better insulate their homes, use curtains on the southern-facing sides of their homes to prevent unnecessary heat from entering. Well, trees also play an essential part in blocking the unnecessary heat around our properties, this was especially true in the days before air conditioning. The City of Sanibel has done some great work with the Periwinkle Way Restoration Project to help restore much of the flora that had been lost and I’m once again seeing the canopy return in parts over the our city’s arterial road. It’s not completely restored yet, but it’s nice to see shade on the bike paths again.
So, have you lost trees around your house after Charley? It’s never too late to replant. It may not give you much now, but in a few years it will bring its rewards. There are some fast growing shade tree options out there that can bring desired results in a shorter time period. Just nothing exotic or invasive please.
As always thanks for reading,
Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com