Santa Ana winds: Arboretum cleanup could take months

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

A shattered Western Catalpa tree lies in the Kallam Perennial Garden at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. The public grounds suffered extensive damages after the Santa Ana windstorm.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden has announced that it will be closed until further notice, due to Santa Ana wind damage. At least 50 percent of the trees have been damaged in some way.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Chief Executive Officer Richard Schulhof took inventory early Friday morning in Arcadia, and said that hundreds of trees have been damaged.

Schulhof said the heritage trees from the 1870s remain standing, though many other trees cannot be salvaged.

Arboretum Superintendent Tim Phillips verified that the extent of the damage is still being assessed as workers make their way through the destruction. But, he added, it's not looking good.

“Over 50 percent," Phillips sighed. "And I’m probably being very conservative right now with that number, but over 50 percent of our collections have been damaged in someway shape or form."

Phillips said there is no predicted date for the Arboretum's reopening. Crews have already began clearing roads to allow access for the cleanup.

The Arboretum released a public album on Thursday, documenting trees from various exhibits, uprooted, snapped and split in half.

Debris littered lawns and blocked paths, but the site's popular peacocks and guinea fowl remain unharmed.

The Arboretum is normally only closed on Christmas Day, but cleanup could take months.

With contributions by Andrea Wang

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