Stumps with the jarring linear patterns of chainsaw cuts are one of the sad results of last week’s storm at UBC Botanical Garden. Now that most of the snow is melted, it is easier to assess some of the damage to the plant collections (another round of losses will take a couple months to determine – damage from temperature). My unprofessional observations, confirmed in a casual conservation with one of the horticulturists, suggest the following numbers:
- 1) the low dozens of woody plants need to be removed outright
- 2) woody plants with minor to severe damage number in the hundreds
- 3) if the garden had a formal design, where plants had to be replaced by others of the same species and a similar size or shape to retain structure, the assessed damage would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars
Since the garden components with the most damage tend to be more informal or naturalistic in design, the lost plants yield an opportunity to grow something different in those areas. Still, the cost to the garden in the lost investment of time into the plants (growing, pruning, interpretation, labelling and so on), the replacement cost of new plants and the time to clean up the damage (time taken away from other projects) will easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
I generally try to avoid pop culture references on BPotD, but I have to admit to thinking of Treebeard’s rumblings when I walk around the garden: “Many of these trees were my friends” (from the Lord of the Rings movies).
Thinleaf alder (the subspecies tenuifolia) is native only to northwestern North America, while the broader range of the entire species spans much of North America and Europe. The Flora of North America reports on this taxon: Alnus incana subsp. tenuifolia. The Burke Museum unfailingly contains an excellent set of images: Alnus incana subsp. tenuifolia.
Botany resource link: Weeds of Mexico (Malezas de México), a project by Dr. Heike Vibrans Lindemann of the Colegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agrícolas. The site contains factsheets and photographs on over three hundred species in a clean, easily-navigable format. If you’ve time to spare and can translate between Spanish and English, you can help the project by offering to translate the Spanish factsheets into English.