When we noticed that the crab apple tree near Founders Hall—one of the original trees from the 1833 campus landscape plan—had lost a sizable branch during this past week’s ice storm, we wondered how the rest of Haverford’s 200-acre Arboretum was faring in the wake of such volatile weather. (After all, it is the oldest campus arboretum in the country.) So we went to Bill Astifan, the Arboretum’s director, to find out.
He assured us that our beautiful trees are holding up well, despite the ice and snow, thanks to preventative measures, like twice-yearly inspections and a rigorous schedule of pruning and trimming. There was, unfortunately, one incident in front of James House on Featherbed Lane in which a branch that was heavy with ice broke off a tree and snapped an equally ice-laden wire. And sadly, one of the mature white birch trees behind #8 Railroad Avenue was uprooted and fell. But don’t worry; overall, the campus’ trees are standing up to this tough winter.
And as for that crab apple branch? Astifan says that it is not a major limb, and the historic tree, though in its “autumn years,” will survive.