In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, another important fact is evident: The maintenance of trees lining city streets needs improvement.
Thousands of trees were uprooted and destroyed by the hurricane, but some of that damage could have been lessened if the city Parks Department would have given regular maintenance and pruning where necessary and removed trees that were in a weakened state, dead or dying.
The Parks Department is responsible for the maintenance and care of thousands of the city’s trees in parks and along streets. Instead of planting more trees, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg has advocated, it needs to take care of the existing trees. If the Parks Department had done so, there might not have been an innocent young man killed in his home in Flushing on the night of the hurricane.
The Laino family had requested multiple times that the Parks Department remove that tree because it was large and could fall. What was its response? A lot of bureaucratic garbage. It should have removed that tree without any delay.
More unfortunate accidents like this are going to continue to happen unless the city gets moving and improves its tree care.