Seven weeks after Hurricane Sandy and six weeks after a nor'easter, officials at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are still clearing away damage but hope to fully reopen the landmark institution by spring. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter that followed were too much for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which lost about about 80 trees.
"Trees that might have already been weakened by Sandy were in some cases finished off by the snow storm, which left very heavy loads of snow on the trees. So a lot of times it just crushed and smashed the trees down," said Melanie Sifton, the garden's vice president of horticulture.
The garden initially closed off three areas to the public. After a massive clean-up, just one section remains closed in the Osborne Garden.
"We're still in the process of cleaning that up and moving all of that wood and hopefully saving some of it so we can repurpose it and give it a second life," said Kate Blumm, a Brooklyn Botanic Garden spokesperson.
"It's never a good idea to have trees that are damaged still standing when we've got the public around, so we need to clean everything up and make sure it's safe before we reopen the areas," said Sifton.
The garden's trees are constantly maintained so they can better stand up to adverse conditions, and Sifton says that is something homeowners can do with trees on their own property.
"You can have experts come in and look for diseased or damaged branches so that you can get those pruned out ahead of time, because those are the one that are more likely to come down in a storm," Sifton said.
Sometimes, though, no matter what is done, Mother Nature get the best of trees like the ones that feel in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, including ones that were 80 years old. Luckily, the garden has received a lot of great support since the storms.
"We are so humbled by the generosity of New Yorkers and also other gardens and peer institutions across the country that have volunteered to help, that have donated money and we're always so grateful," Blumm said.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden officials said they hope to have everything re-opened by early Spring. For information on visiting or helping out, visit bbg.org.