Wheaton in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
What Happened Here?
On July 25, 2010 a microburst (similar to a tornado) tore through this section of the Gardens, breaking and toppling many large trees in a matter of seconds. As this old tuliptree fell, parts of the substantial root system lifted an entire section of the boardwalk leaving it at a 90 degree angel to the ground.
Though most tree roots are located in the 6-24 inches of soil, many large trees develop anchor roots that penetrate deeply into the ground for stability. Because this tree grew in a floodplain and above a solid clay shelf, few or no anchor roots developed. You can see by the flat appearance of the root "ball" that the roots were very shallow. The lack of strong anchor roots combined with saturated soils and thick wind-catching foliage allowed the tree to be easily toppled in the fierce winds of the microburst. The installation of the boardwalk also may have played a role in this tree's demise if any large lateral roots were severed during construction. Tree root systems naturally begin to decay with age as well, there is evidence of this here.
The remnants of this fallen giant will remain, providing food and shelter
Erected by Montgomery Parks.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment • Horticulture & Forestry.
Location. 39° 3.542′ N, 77° 2.048′ W. Marker is in Wheaton, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Glenallan Avenue east of Heurich Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1800 Glenallen Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20902, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Conservatory (within shouting distance of this marker); Formal Gardens (within shouting distance of this marker); Creating Pollinator & Native Plant Gardens (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trial Garden (about 300 feet away); One Tree's Life (about 300 feet away); Elements of Brookside's Rain Garden (about 300 feet away); Alternative to Plastic Water Bottles (about 300 feet away); What Are Rain Gardens? (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wheaton.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 9, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 120 times since then and 9 times this year. Last updated on February 19, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 9, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.