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Landscape Update: October 29, 2011

A message from the director on the devestating October snowstorm.

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Fall was not over, the trees still had leaves, and the crushing October snow snapped limbs in record numbers as the snow was unable to slip through the leafy limbs. We are assessing the damage now. It is extensive. Our first mission is to remove hazards to humans and buildings and to clear roadways. In conjunction with Facilities Management a team of arborists and garden labor is working steadily. As of today we do not know how many trees will need to be removed. We will post a list of trees in due time. We will not be able to assess the health of individual trees until much later in the process but I can tell you that the giant dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) on the Burton Lawn lost several limbs and for the first time in its approximately 125 year old life the giant ginkgo near the Lyman Plant House lost a significantly large limb. Both will survive but they are injured and less shapely. Many smaller trees were more affected as they bent as far as they could under the weight of over a foot of extremely heavy snow and then snapped. Other trees split enough to make them a concern for the future and they will need to be removed. This is by far the worse snow related tree damage I have ever seen in this region.

Smith College

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