Leslie's wrath covers city in goo, browns trees early
Tropical storm sucked moisture out of leaves, research horticulturalist says
Tropical storm Leslie’s impact continues to linger in the greater St. John’s area, turning trees in the region brown weeks earlier than usual this year.
Todd Boland, the research horticulturalist at the Botanical Garden, pins the blame on the storm that lashed Newfoundland last week.
The storm left a weird goo on homes and cars in the region.
Boland says that was sap was sucked out of leaves as Leslie shredded the city and its trees.
The ground was already dry from a dry summer. In St. John’s, the storm carried hurricane-force winds, but little rain.
The effect, Boland says, was like putting the trees through a dryer.
"It sucked a lot of moisture out of the leaves," Boland said.
"So what we end up seeing now is that virtually overnight the leaves turned brown, especially on any of those trees that had small little leaves."
Dogberries and birch trees took the brunt. Many maples with smaller leaves took a beating as well.
Boland says there's no long-term damage. But the autumn feast of reds and yellows will be replaced this year by a shrivelled brown.