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Hurricane Wilma Cleanup and Recovery

 
   
 

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Below are photos illustrating initial cleanup and recovery efforts following Hurricane Wilma. (Click on photos to enlarge.) The MBC team had nearly finished cleanup from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina two months earlier... only to start over again!

Damage assessment is extremely important at MBC and all data are entered into the database; here, Christina Dupuy and a notetaker
assess a fallen tree.
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Emergency procedures are also critical if the greatest number of plants are to be saved. Here, palm curator, Laurie Danielson, trims leaves from a Chambeyronia macrocarpa palm that suffered from a bent crownshaft.
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Early salvage efforts also include covering root balls of trees (left) and palms (right)
that can later be righted and staked.
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Additional "emergency" efforts include whitewashing the trunks of downed trees to prevent them from being sunburned. Above, Christina (L) participates and solicits help from assistant curator Ericka Witcher (R) to protect the trunk of this fallen avocado tree.
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Abbey, Ericka, and Patrick remove a large oak tree that fell into one of our Asian cycad beds.
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This structure was built to protect the rare cycad below while the tree was cut up and removed.
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Mario and Orlando clear debris.

Sergio applies  fungicide to impacted palms.
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MBC was without power for more than a week; generators came in handy.

Thanks to Kelly Tractor for donating two large generators that powered the well pump and the main office until electricity was restored.
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Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma removed nearly all of the shade in the this tropical Zamia bed.
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Hostilio augured holes for the 2" X 4" posts that we installed to support a new temporary shade structure.
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The completed shade structure will protect the shade-loving
zamias until new trees can be planted.
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One of the few good things to come out of this hurricane was the use, by researchers, of some of the downed plant material. Here are two examples:

  • The above left photo shows a slice of palm trunk cut by Dr. Jack Fisher and Dr. Scott Zona for studies on palm "wood" at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

  • In the photo on the right, Dr. Ron Cave and his assistant (from the University of Florida's Indian River Research & Education Center in Ft. Pierce) loaded up a truck with native Tillandsia bromeliads that fell out of the trees at MBC during the storm. Dr. Cave is conducting research on biological control of an imported weevil species that is feeding on the native bromeliads. These plants will be used to feed the weevils during various biocontrol experiments.


 

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