By Jaimie Julia Winters

The series of late winter Nor’easters caused $7,500 in damage to two trees and the grounds at the Shultz and Charles Crane houses. Run by the Montclair History Center, officials there are now calling on the public for donations.

During the March 8 storm in which 90 trees were lost throughout the township, a large branch splintered and snapped off a 30-year-old diseased tree near the Crane House and the Montclair Community farm site. The tree uprooted and was leaning precariously close to the house. Although, the tree made it through the March 21 storm, it needed to be removed. At the Schultz House, an older tree came crashing down blocking the driveway.

Both trees needed to be removed immediately and finding a tree removal service was not easy with so many in town needing the services of a tree removal company.

“Thank goodness there was no damage to the buildings,” said Jane M. Eliasof, executive director. ”We held our collective breath between the storms as we waited for a tree service to come and take it down. Thank goodness, the second storm spared both the tree and the museum, and they were able to take the tree down before the third storm hit.”

Crisis averted — well, sort of.

“The thousands of dollars needed to clean up our sites is way beyond our budget for storm damage and snow removal. We are asking for help from the community to help offset these costs,” Eliasof said.

The storms caused excessive tree branches to come down and be strewn around the properties as well, adding to the clean up costs.

Donations can be made at the center or through square space here.