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Windstorm knocks down huge tree on Heart Mountain

Corey Forman stands in a roughly 7-foot deep hole in front of a massive cottonwood tree that was uprooted on his Heart Mountain property during a Monday storm. The tree was over 60 years old. Corey Forman stands in a roughly 7-foot deep hole in front of a massive cottonwood tree that was uprooted on his Heart Mountain property during a Monday storm. The tree was over 60 years old. Tribune photos by Mark Davis

It only took several minutes of fierce wind to topple a decades-old tree on a Heart Mountain homestead Monday.

The massive cottonwood was uprooted in the fast-moving storm, which brought rain and strong wind gusts.

Corey Forman, a Heart Mountain area farmer, was driving home when he saw the top part of a pine tree that was broken off; he then turned onto Lane 10 to find the fallen cottonwood on his property.

“It took me a few seconds to figure out exactly what had happened,” he said. “I was not expecting to see it, driving up to it.”

The trunk’s diameter measures about 6 feet. The tree stood 70 to 80 feet tall, making it one of the largest trees in the area. The cottonwood was planted between 1950 and ’55, Forman said.

“That tree was planted before they had power out here,” he said.

Its roots went deep into the ground. Now that it’s uprooted, a 7-foot deep hole remains.

The cottonwood landed on top of other trees, including a 50-60 foot pine tree, as well as a couple of empty 3,000-gallon tanks.

The tree fell dangerously close to the hops Forman is growing as part of a field trial for Northwest College.

Had the tree fallen the other direction, “it would have taken out the power lines and been in the middle of the road,” Forman said.

Aside from the cottonwood, the wind also broke branches on a few other trees.

Forman will probably hire someone to remove the massive cottonwood.

“This is a tough time of year for us, even if we were set up, to try to get away from the farm work,” Forman said.

— Tessa Baker

Corey Forman climbs the branches of a huge cottonwood tree that fell on his Heart Mountain property during a Monday storm. The tree damaged several trees and came close to hitting his field of hops.

1 comment

  • posted by Dewey

    July 06, 2017 8:32 am

    The Wyoming State Tree - the Cottonwood - grows up to become a gravity bomb.

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