Savannah’s signature tree canopy gets bushwhacked by Matthew

Savannah, GA (AP Images)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Savannah’s signature tree canopy is a disheveled mess after getting bushwhacked by Hurricane Matthew.

The storm spared the historic homes and churches of Georgia’s oldest city, founded in 1733. But Savannah’s dense urban forest of magnolias, azaleas and gnarled live oaks draped with Spanish moss took the brunt of the storm’s fury.

Matthew uprooted century-old oaks in the city’s manicured squares and smothered parks and roadways in a carpet of fallen branches and leaves.

Gordon Denney, Savannah’s Park and Tree Department director, says it could be a while before city workers get to clean up the parks and squares because the priority goes to trees on homes and roads.

But some residents aren’t waiting. Volunteers with rakes and saws started cleaning up squares within hours after Matthew passed.