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L.A. Arboretum suffers extensive damage from windstorm

December 2, 2011 | 12:22 pm

Click here to see more photos.The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden remains closed until further notice after suffering extensive damage from the Santa Ana winds that hit the San Gabriel Valley especially hard. Taking inventory early Friday morning in Arcadia, chief executive Richard Schulhof said hundreds of trees have been damaged. Schulhof said he was greatly relieved that heritage trees from the 1870s were OK, but other trees were a total loss and cleanup may take months. 

Click here to see more photos.The arboretum posted photos on its Facebook page of a snapped Crimean linden tree, uprooted dragon palms, damaged ash and jacaranda trees and a crepe myrtle tree that had been uprooted.

Despite all this, Schulhof was optimistic.

"This is an opportunity to plant the next generation of trees," he said. "As we clean up the damage, we will think about opportunities to bring in new trees. This is Southern California's great tree museum. Arboretums are in this for the long run. There are going to be some great new trees."

Schulhof said the arboretum's beloved peacocks are "frazzled" but fine.

Like the arboretum, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino also was without power Friday and will remain closed until further notice. Spokeswoman Lisa Blackburn said about 20 large trees -- oaks, pines, deodars and a big tree aloe in the Desert Garden -- had been lost, as were a number of smaller trees. Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge reported that due to downed trees and live power lines, it also is closed until further notice.

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-- Lisa Boone

Photos: A fallen catalpa tree on a bench, top, and a snapped pink trumpet tree, right, at the arboretum. Credit: Frank McDonough

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