December 1, 2016
On December 1, 2011 we awoke to massive destruction from the worst windstorm in recent history to strike the San Gabriel Valley. We lost 235 trees and more than 700 required corrective pruning. The Arboretum was closed from December 1 through Christmas day. This three-week period saw intense cleanup involving as many as 16 public and private entities working in consort to clear the massive quantities of debris. We opened on the 26th in a very limited way, allowing visitors onto only major roads; many areas were caution-taped off because they were not safe. Cleanup continued well into 2012. A positive result of the windstorm was a phenomenally successful exhibit, “Forces of Nature”, that paid homage to the trees lost in the windstorm.
James Henrich, the Arboretum’s Curator of Living Collections, reflected on the remarkable resiliency the plant kingdom demonstrates on a daily basis. And finally, he said, “revel in the beauty of the Arboretum’s landscape today.”