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Visitors will return to Wittunga Botanic Garden for the first time this weekend since wild weather caused chaos at the Blackwood Garden.
Storms ripped through the garden causing significant damage to trees, garden beds and to parts of our collection, while a huge number of tree branches and debris had completely covered most of the garden including roadside paths.
Horticultural staff from all three of our garden sites have worked tirelessly as part of the monumental two-week cleanup effort which has now put the garden back into a position to welcome back visitors in a safe manner.
The Clean Up
Critical hazard reduction and pruning works were required on 55 trees - all of which were dangerously damaged due to the wild weather.
A total of 10 trees collapsed without warning while a further 15 trees were removed following expert assessment which indicated they had become unviable and unsafe due to the damage incurred.
As part of the cleanup process, arborists assessed trees and removed hangers and hazards as well as chipping branches and other debris which was spread around the garden.
Botanic Gardens staff, ably supported by Department for Infrastructure and Transport staff, also spent time removing fallen trees and branches - with many of these being recycled and repurposed into mulch for garden use.
While the Wittunga Play Space equipment was left unharmed, heavy rainfall caused pathways, which support the Play Space, to be completely washed away.
These paths have since been repaired ensuring that the area will be safe for visitors to utilise.
Visitors to the gardens may still notice some portions of the garden which are damaged as well as bits of cleanup still ongoing upon their return.
No more so than the enormous Blue Gum which was pulled up out of the ground and fell directly onto our Terrace Beds.
This tree - estimated to be more than a century old - has left a significant crater where it's root-system once lay.
As a result, this area will be fenced off for the safety of the public.
To see more photos from the cleanup effort, visit the image gallery.
How is the garden looking?
While assessing the true damage to our collection will take a considerable number of weeks, the garden itself is still full of colour and looking incredible sprightly despite the trauma.
The Pincushion Leucospermums are always a colourful treat but they've really turned it on despite the chaos surrounding them.
The Terrace Beds were impacted by the fallen Blue Gum but are still a flowering treat to explore.
Now flowering in the Western Australian heath beds is the ever-interesting Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthus flavidus) which have just started showing off its yellow, green and red colours.
The heath beds are also home to two very interesting Banksia varieties (Banksia blechnifolia and Banksia petiolaris) which have a new flush of growth.
Things to remember before your visit
Wittunga Botanic Garden is open daily from 8:30am until 6:00pm on weekdays and 8:30am until 7:00pm on weekends.
You can find more information on planning your visit here.
Have you noticed a strange looking unit near the First Creek Wetlands at Adelaide Botanic Garden? Did you know this machine is collecting valuable biodiversity data which will be used to safeguard South Australia's Myrtleceae trees against a deadly disease.