Cleaning Up After Sandy: A Tree Crew

Walking just got easier along Riverside Park’s upper promenade on Riverside Drive.

On Wednesday, it looked like this at 107th Street and Riverside Drive.

But yesterday, all that was left of the tree was sawdust and a pathetic bit of stump.

Gazing south to 105th Street, we spied the heroes of the scene toiling away on yet another downed tree.

The tree crew from East Greenwich Tree Service has been working in Manhattan since Sunday.

Yes, Sunday. The city hired them to cut down potentially hazardous trees before Sandy reached its peak.

This gentleman told me of working up in the bucket on Sunday in 50-mile an hour gusts.

He also showed me impressive photos on his iPhone of cars smashed by trees.  He said he likes to take the photos before they clear the trees, and he remembers exactly where each car was located. The job now is to clear streets and sidewalks.

After that, they’ll move into the parks. And in fact, directly below the team inside Riverside Park, a large tree with a huge root ball was blocking the upper path. To get a sense of just how huge, look at the little pedestrian coming along the path on the left.

A man from the Parks Department conferred with the team.

I asked him how much damage Riverside Park had sustained.  He said he didn’t know exactly, since his priority has been to clear the streets for emergency vehicles and to keep people safe.

The tree at 105th Street took part of the playground fencing with it.

I told him I had heard that Morningside Park had lost a lot of trees, which he confirmed.  (Scroll down for information on volunteering tomorrow in Morningside Park or your local park.)  We talked about the storms over the past couple of years that have caused our parks to lose a substantial number of trees in the parks, including last October’s freak snow storm that took down 1,000 trees in Central Park.

“You know how they talk about a once-in-a-hundred years storm, well, we’ve had four of them in the past few years,” said the man from Parks. “Well, they’re gonna have to think of a new way to describe these storms.”

And they – I mean, we – are going to have to face the facts about climate change, and come up with new ways of living and working to protect our city and our planet.

Meanwhile, thanks to the tree guys for their hard, necessary work.

Post Sandy Volunteer Cleanup in Morningside Park
  • Saturday, Nov. 3rd from 10am – 12 pm
    116th Street and Morningside Drive
  • Dress for outdoor work. Equipment will be provided.
  • Email info@morningsidepark.org to let the Friends know how many people you will be bringing.
To find out about other volunteer opportunities, check NYC Services or your local park, shelter or ASPCA. I just received emails from Kicy Motley at kmotley@pubadvocate.nyc.gov that there are clean-ups going on tomorrow in Staten Island and several locations in Riverside Park. email for info.
I’ll post more volunteer links soon.
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Explore posts in the same categories: 2012, Central Park, Fall, In the City, Morningside Park, NYC Parks, Riverside Park, Seasons

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6 Comments on “Cleaning Up After Sandy: A Tree Crew”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Isn’t it terribly sad that we’ve had to have these dreadful storms and climatic cataclysms to wake us up to what’s happening with our planet? I simply adore trees – that you lost 1000 in Central Park last year and to see all these beauties tumbled down like match sticks breaks my heart – Terrific piece of writing Melissa – and the photos – amazing.

    • p hoey Says:

      Melissa-
      A useful and (sadly) moving post. Where can one contribute to
      the restoration ongoing restoration work?


      • I recommend NYCService.org as a good source of links to groups needing donations and/or volunteers. The webpage lists everything from the big boys like The Red Cross (what is going on with them anyway??) to neighborhood groups. Need is large, but some requests are humble. I brought peanute butter & jelly sandwiches to Bowery Mission, which they immediately started giving out – although they also need blankets and canned goods and money and so on. Thanks for asking!


    • Yes, it is sad, Barbara. Now the trick will be to keep the awareness and the conversation near the top of the political/social priority list so that action is taken. Yes, we lost those 1,000 trees almost exactly a year before Hurricane Sandy during the freak pre-Halloween snowstorm. We then had no snow for the rest of the winter. In fact, we pretty much had no winter. Very bizarre, indeed. Thank you for being such a loyal reader!

  2. Dorothy Webb Says:

    Glad to know you are ok Melissa. We’ve been glued to the news coverage. Such terrible losses. Dorothy Webb


    • Thank you so much, Dorothy, I appreciate your concern. We really are fine, and have my mother, who was in the downtown powerless zone, staying with us – and I hear her area’s power went on early this morning. Manhattan will be coming back to normal soon, but parts of the other boroughs are really suffering terribly still. For anyone looking NYCService,org has a list of ways to help, whether by donation or in person.


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