In the aftermath of this week’s storm, people have been asking about the status of The New York Botanical Garden‘s living collections. We wanted to update you on the damage inflicted by the storm at the Botanical Garden.
Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to trees, fences, small structures, signs, and one building across the 250 acres of The New York Botanical Garden. While we are still assessing the damage, initial surveys reveal that over 100 native trees in the Forest and throughout the landscape, including some of our ancient and most magnificent oaks, were destroyed. Hundreds of mature pines, spruces, and firs in the Ross Conifer Arboretum and Benenson Ornamental Conifers and other irreplaceable collections of trees across the Garden were damaged. Over the next few days, curators and arborists will carefully inspect trees across the landscape for broken and damaged limbs and other substantial damage not immediately apparent after the storm.
Staff members of the Garden’s Operations and Horticulture Divisions began clean-up efforts even before the storm had moved inland. Their initial efforts focused on the clearing of roads and the removal of downed trees from buildings and structures. Certain areas of the Garden, including the Forest, the Azalea Garden, the Ross Arboretum, and the Benenson Ornamental Conifers will remain closed until the damage in these areas can be fully assessed and paths and roadways cleared.
While Sandy’s fierce winds have altered the tree canopy that lends singular grace and beauty to our historic landscape, we are working hard to re-establish the calm beauty that makes the Garden an oasis for all New Yorkers, particularly during trying times. Many sections of the Garden, including the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, will re-open to the public on Thursday, November 1.