Arnold Arboretum Loses Priceless Possessions as Storm Lashes Trees

Harvard Forest and Engineering Camps Hit By Damaging New England Gale

Damage to Harvard properties extended beyond Cambridge as reckonings of hurricane losses were made yesterday. Hardest hit was the Arnold, Arboretum in Jamiaca Plain where several hundred valueable trees were destroyed. The top of the Blue Hill, location of the Meteorological Station, suffered much property damage. To word came through from isolated Petersham or Squam Lake, New Hampshire, homes of the Harvard Forest and Engineering Camps, respectively, but it was feared much damage had occured.

Only outlying properties to escape damage were the Botanical Gardens at Soledad, Cuba hit by all previous hurricanes, and the Astronomical Observatory in Zululand, Orange Free State, Africa.

With hundreds of trees uprooted or damaged beyond hope of repair, Harvard's far-famed botanical collections at the Arnold Arboretum suffered "tremendous damage," according to its Supervisor, Elmer D. Merrill, professor of Botany.

Everywhere along the drives and through the Gardens, the havoc wreaked by Wednesday's hurricane is in evidence. Directly behind the Administration building at the entrance, the fine pine grove has been largely destroyed, and damage is also severe on the exposed part of Hemlock hill, in the conifer collection and among the populars and oaks in the Peters Hill area.

The plantings for which the Arboretum is best known popularly, such as the lilacs, cherries, crabapples and shrubs, are not severely damaged, and pruning will repair what has been done; but this does not minimize the total effect of the destruction.

The trees that have gone are largely North American species, but most of them were big ones and cannot be replaced within a lifetime. Many fine European oaks are among the uprooted.

Only a preliminary estimate of damage could be made yesterday as the Arboretum staff, working under the direction of Superintendent Louis Victor Schmitt, cleared the paths and roadways, but Dr. Merrill said "several hundred trees are involved, including some of the oldest and rarest ones in the plantings."