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300 Downed Trees And Counting

The good news is that all of the Houston Arboretum's staff is safe and sound after Hurricane Ike. The inspiring news is that volunteers armed with gloves, tools and tons of good will are helping clean up debris.

Which leaves us with the somewhat sad news that lots and lots of big oaks have bit the dust along the Houston Arboretum's Alice Brown Trail.

upended big oak

Post oaks and willow oaks are the big losers at the Houston Arboretum. Invasive species will likely be the winners. With so much shade lost and ground disturbed, it's inevitable that the problem plants the Arboretum always faces -- particularly Chinese privet -- will take advantage of the lincreased sunlight and the chaos. photo credit: Lori Hutson, Houston Arboretum hide caption

toggle caption photo credit: Lori Hutson, Houston Arboretum

The Arboretum is a 155 acre sanctuary native forest where hummingbirds are feeding and birds once again singing after the storm. But the hiking trails are still unpassable. If you're in the neighborhood and would like to help out, contact Lori Hutson.



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It's sad to see mature specimen trees toppled, and the devestation of a natural disaster. But that is just what it is, a natural occurence. I hope the volunteers will focus on opening up access to the arboretum, and that some portion of the area will be left to demonstrate recovery, on nature's terms, even if it means letting non-native species get a toe-hold in a part of the enclave. Best wishes for healing and healthy recovery.

Sent by Eric Larson | 3:27 PM | 9-20-2008

Just ran across this link to a very good set of photos of post Ike damage. There's a lot.

Sent by burro | 10:49 PM | 9-20-2008

An update from the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center following Ike - Our final count of trees downed on or within eyesight of our 5 mile trail system was 453 trees. This included many of the larger mature Loblolly pines and oaks. We are making progress on clearing the trails and hope to be open by Oct. 1. Being in the middle of such a large urban area, we recognize the importance of being a place of sanctuary not only for the plants and animals, but as a place for reflection and healing for people.
Please check our website for updates:

Sent by Lori Hutson | 1:03 AM | 9-24-2008

Delighted you stopped by, Lori. Thanks for the update; we'll be keeping you in mind.

Sent by Ketzel Levine | 12:53 AM | 9-25-2008