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Severely damaged Himalayan yew just north of Rhododendron Glen.

If you’ve visited the Arboretum in the last few weeks, you’ll know that the park and its world-class plant collection were badly hit by the heavy, wet snow that fell between February 3 and 11. Our partners at UW Botanic Gardens and Seattle Parks and Recreation have been very hard at work cleaning up the damage. The arborists, gardeners, and grounds crew have performed tremendously, but much remains to be done!

In his sobering storm report on the UWBG blog, horticulture manager David Zuckerman writes that “over 300 horticultural plant-condition reports have been submitted for curatorial review, many of which are significant in size and/or rarity.”

“All trails have been cleared and most imminent potential tree hazards mitigated at this juncture,” continues David. “However, it will be months before the majority of [storm] damage will be recorded and all actions addressed in the field. Large wood from tree trunks will need to remain in place until the ground firms up to allow us to gain equipment access.”

The Arboretum Foundation, which supports the park arborists and gardeners, is making supplemental funds available for storm clean up. They’ll be used to pay for renting needed moving equipment and more. Collection plants lost to the storm will also need to be replaced.

The public is also responding to the storm damage. We have received several gifts to help with the recovery effort.

An uprooted black cherry along Azalea Way.

In an accompanying note to their gift, one generous donor wrote:

“This donation is to help the Arboretum recover from the enormous loss of trees, bushes, and plants stemming from our recent storm. Seeing branches torn off trees and tree uprooted from the ground is heart breaking. We appreciated all the work that has been done and hope our donation helps cheer on the all the Arboretum staff.”

Thanks to everyone who has given thus far! All the staff here are certainly cheered by your thoughtfulness and generosity! Gifts of any amount are greatly appreciated!

Downed branches have been staged along trails for future removal.

Designate a gift: If you’d like to donate to the storm mitigation, please visit our donation page and make a gift. You can designate the gift to the recovery effort using the “comments/questions” box on our giving form. Thank you!

Madison Park Times: “After the Storm: Washington Park Arboretum recovery work continues after February snow damage” [posted 3/19/2019]