Dead trees are a common sight in Howard Beach — a constant reminder of the devastation the neighborhood faced nearly two years ago when Hurricane Sandy ripped its way through the area.
But the neighborhood will now witness an arboreal upheaval as the Parks Department moves to uproot and replace a virtual forest of trees.
“Several hundred street trees damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Community Board 10 are slated to be removed and replaced,” said Meghan Lalor, a representative from the Parks Department. “Any tree that was marked for removal was considered to be dead or in such decline that it would not be able to recover to full health.”
The trees and their stumps will be removed entirely and will later be replaced by new trees. Each tree that is slated for removal has an “X” marked on its trunk. The removal process for many of them will take place from Sept. 15 to Sept. 19.
Soon after Hurricane Sandy, the Parks Department went out to survey the storm’s effect on the city’s trees.
The Parks Department looked at about 48,000 trees citywide, and categorized each of them by their leaf coverage. Since then, the department has been monitoring the trees’ leaf coverage and behavior throughout the growing seasons, which has helped identify which trees should be axed.
The exact number of trees to be cut down in Community Board 10 has yet to be determined. Parks is still surveying the neighborhoods to make sure all of the problematic trees are reached.