Trees for Galveston

Hundreds — perhaps thousands — of trees died on Galveston Island after Hurricane Ike.

The island’s urban canopy was decimated but is slowly being replaced by donations and a reforestation project.

Laurie Johnson reports.


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Ike’s extreme winds tore up many of Galveston’s trees. But Trees for Houston Executive Director Barry Ward says
the wind wasn’t the only problem.

“They got the typical wind damage that you would get from a major storm, but they also had the problem of salt water inundation on many parts of the island. So you had high saline content all of a sudden of the dirt around these trees combined with the stress of drought and the stress of the hurricane-force winds. So it really did a number on the trees down there.”

The City of Galveston recently launched a reforestation campaign to restore the urban canopy.

Devon Energy donated $65,000 this week to replace 230 trees on elementary school campuses.

“The need is so great. These public spaces were just devastated. The loss, again, near total around some of these schools. And it seems like around the educational institutions, the need to create a sense of security and home and a place of rest.”

Most of the trees on the nine campuses will be live oaks, a variety that is hardy and grows well on the island. The plantings will begin this fall when the weather turns cool.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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