Clean-Up After Storm Estimated at $90,000

Last week's blizzard wreaked havoc on trees throughout the campus, tearing off branches and costing the University up to $90,000.

Harvard's legendary ivy and the shrubs around the University were also damaged by the 24 inches of snow that fell Sunday and Monday--the Boston area's third worst blizzard in history.

The weight of the snow that remained in the trees was too much for some branches to support, according to Bernard K. Keohan, manager of grounds in the Facilities Maintenance Department.

"The weight of the snow was too heavy, the limbs just let go," Keohan said. "I've been working here for 27 years. This is the most damage I've seen from a storm of any kind."

In addition to fallen tree branches, undergraduates observed two completely uprooted trees on Mass. Ave. behind Lamont Library.


The two fallen trees were recently planted on the sidewalk across from The Inn at Harvard.

Keohan said that safety was the first concern of the ground's crew.

Safety was on the minds of many students as they struggled to avoid slipping on the snow and the fallen tree branches.

Most of the damaged trees were of the smaller, "ornamental" variety, including cherry, crabapple and magnolia trees, said Robert L. Mortimer, associate director for building services in the Office of Physical Resources.

Larger trees, including elms, mostly survived the Nor'easter, Mortimer said.

Falling trees caused harm to University property in only one location, where a tree in the Dunster House master's courtyard fell and hit a piperail fence, which must be repaired.

The damaged trees are not covered by the University's insurance policy, but the property damage is, Mortimer said.

Leverett House residents were unofficially warned about the hazards of walking through their old courtyard by a sign which read "Falling tree branches will break your face if you don't take care."

Despite such ominous warnings, there were no injuries due to the storm.

According to Keohan, trees at the river houses and the lab area suffered the most damage.

"All the trees recently planted, in the last three years, in Harvard Yard received little damage" Keohan said. "Many trees have been planted as part of the Harvard Yard Tree Replacement Project."

It will take at least two weeks to completely remove the fallen branches. Replacing fallen trees will take an indefinite amount of time.

"It depends on whether the faculties want to give the money to replace them right now," Keohan said. "It depends on whether or not they think replacement is necessary."

The total cost estimate includes both clean-up and the tree replacement