Hurricane Gudrun wreaked havoc across southern Sweden and Denmark on January 8, 2005. Sustained wind speeds were measured up to 126 km/h. Gusts reached 165 km/h. It was a severe storm Gudrun left a few hundred thousand people isolated, without electricity in deep snow.
The most severe damage took place among the forests. This was evident by the sheer number of trees falling from the skies. “It’s just raining trees,” Mats Antonsson, a Jönköping police officer, told Aftonbladet. “They’re lying like skittles in the roads.” (Source) And with this forest damage Mother Nature created a surprising ‘oak tree print’, with the help of loggers.
After the hurricane passed southern Sweden Jocke Berglund, an aerial photographer, was taking photographs of the damage. Flying over Småland he spotted this ‘remarkable oak tree print’.
Forests were damaged after Hurricane Gudrun and the fallen trees were removed by loggers so they didn’t go to waste. The route the loggers created and clear-cut limber formed the landscape for this image. Quite surprising that something this beautiful can come of clear-cut logging and damaging winds.
The British National History Museum says, “It formed partly by the storm brush of nature and partly by the impact on the soil of the forestry machines retrieving logs. ‘It’s as if the heavens had sent a message to the forest industry reminding them that, in this area, deciduous trees would have withstood the winds much better than pine.”
The image earned Berglund first prize in the 2006 The World in Our Hands category for the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year. This was in the Adult awards. It has since become used occasionally by the logging industry to better inform people what trees they plant matter. In Sweden the replanted trees couldn’t withstand the forceful gusts of Gudrun.