Damaged — and potentially deadly — littered Brooklyn after Superstorm Sandy. Now many trees that are still standing will be cut down before they can strike again. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
The city will cut down 2,000 trees this fall in an attempt to stop the flora before it can kill or maim again.
The trees are the silent victims of Superstorm Sandy — so badly damaged by salt water inundation that they are likely to fall on residents during routine wind or rain, according to the New York Daily News.
"It is a very sad time because these trees have been here for so long, but it is a necessity for safety," said Chuck Reichenthal, the venerable district manager for Community Board 13, which includes Coney Island, Sea Gate, and Bensonhurst, some of the worst hit in the borough.
"Everybody is hoping they make replacements because this is still Brooklyn, and this is where trees are grown.”
Over 20,000 trees were destroyed in the hurricane last year, but brackish water from the storm surge infiltrated the southern Brooklyn soil, damaging root systems.
The stand as sentinels, undead zombies that are still intact, but marred by brown leaves and thinning boughs.
The city is hoping to avoid tree incidents like this. (Photo: Marc A. Hermann/For New York Daily News)
Many have dropped limbs and caused injuries and near-misses.
A Coney Island resident, Martin Novitsky, suffered a concussion in July when he was struck by a falling tree branch while walking along the boardwalk. Novitsky survived but has since joined other tree advocates to push the city to fast track the cleanup post-Sandy.
"Obviously it is very important to remove dead, decaying, or deceased trees for safety," said Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates, a watchdog group. "But the city really needs to increase the numbers of parks inspectors to prevent any such injuries from taking place."
The Parks department began surveying 48,000 the decayed trees earlier this year. Another 4,500 will be re-inspected in the fall.
The Parks Department said it has not yet determined a time frame for the removal of the trees. The agency promised to revisit the denuded areas this spring, during tree planting season.
"In the interim, we have been and will continue to remediate soil, as necessary, with compost and gypsum - both mitigate salt damage - to encourage the return of healthy biological functioning," said Meghan Lalor, a Parks Department spokeswoman.
New York Daily News - August 28, 2013 - By Tanay Warerkar