LA County Arboretum Surveys Damage From Wind Storm

The storm toppled hundreds of trees

By Conan Nolan and Neil Costes
|  Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011  |  Updated 6:24 PM PDT
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The 127-acre site in Arcadia has one of the largest collections of trees from around the world, but hundreds were damaged during last week's wind storm.

Conan Nolan, Rodney Danson

The 127-acre site in Arcadia has one of the largest collections of trees from around the world, but hundreds were damaged during last week's wind storm.

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A harsh symphony of gas powered chainsaws disrupts what is normally a peaceful place of refuge at the LA County Arboretum.

The 127-acre site in Arcadia has one of the largest collections of trees from around the world, but it was heavily damaged during last week's wind storm.

"Over 50 percent of the collection was significantly damaged, and we are probably looking at 300 total losses, 300 trees that are just gone," Arboretum CEO Richard Schulhof said.

Hundreds more are in danger of collapsing.

"There are tree limbs that could come down. It is why we wear helmets. We want to go home every night," Keith Knipschild of the LA County Fire Department said.

"I just want to cry. It's heartbreaking," Arboretum member Vivian McPherson said.

"I've been coming here ever since I was a kid," said McPherson's son, William. "It definitely looks like a war zone."

The Arboretum will remain closed until at least January because it's still too dangerous for guests. In the meantime, the Arboretum is trying to raise money to replace all the trees that were lost.

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