December 1, 2007
The Miami Metrozoo ground maintenance personnel assessed tree and palm damage after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma during Aug. and Oct. 2005, respectively. They also estimated the costs associated with the removals, resetting, and cleanup of the debris. After Katrina, 546 trees and seven palms were reset and 142 trees and seven palms were removed. Following Wilma, 345 trees and 26 palms were reset and 380 trees and 53 palms were removed. The total damage and cleanup costs after Katrina and Wilma were $69,660 and $181,860. The fi ve species that suffered the most damage after Katrina were: Tabebuia caraiba, yellow tab (134 trees); Peltophorum pterocarpum, copperpod (96); Bucida buceras, black olive (45 trees); Bauhinia variegata, orchid tree (35 trees); and Syagrus romanzoffi ana, Queen palm (5). The top six species that suffered the most damage after Hurricane Wilma were: Peltophorum pterocarpum, copperpod (111 trees); Bucida buceras, black olive (77 trees); Tabebuia caraiba, yellow tab (63 trees); Tabebuia heterophylla, pink tab (31 trees); Washingtonia robusta, Washington palm (26 palms); and Syagrus romanzoffi ana, Queen palm (17 palms). These findings confirm recent research that indicates that the species most damaged after these two hurricanes correspond to species with a low to medium-low wind resistance rating. In Aug. 2006 the list of existing plants in the Metrozoo was updated to include a total of: 207 tree species, 175 shrubs, 200 groundcovers and wild fl owers, 15 vines, and 172 palms.