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Correction: Superstorm Sandy Kills 50 Trees in Lakewood

City creates “tree task force” to help save the city’s trees.

Correction: The storm killed an estimated 50 trees. The mayor shared an incorrect number. 

Superstorm Sandy did more damage than just taking out power to a quarter of all of the city’s residents a couple of weeks ago.

It also destroyed an estimated 50 trees in the city.

“Worse yet, a lot of them were huge,” said Mayor Michael Summers. “The saplings didn’t topple. It was the big trees.”

Summers said that the storm caused “the second-worst loss of trees in our modern history.” 

“The worst being July 4, 1969,” he said, referring to a tornado that swept through Lakewood causing mass devastation.

Trees in all parts of the city were uprooted during the recent storm, which came on the heels of the city’s announcement to form a “tree task force,” an effort by city officials to save the Lakewood’s aging trees.

“This was a little coincidental, but completely appropriate right now,” Summers said.

The mayor appointed two residents — David Sangree and John Palmer — to serve on the task force. Council, which will appoint three members of its own, approved the mayor's nominations on Monday night.

“This task force will look at all things related to trees,” Summers said, "trends, strategies, issues, communications and types of trees. 

“I don’t think we’ve been derelict of duty with respect to trees, but I don’t think anybody thought we’d be losing trees at the pace that we are. I think we should plant thousands of trees, but we’ve got to be prepared to care for them.”

Bill Hausknecht November 21, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I'd love for the city to plant more trees but use a little common sense: YOU DON"T PLANT TREES THAT ARE GOING TO GET TALL UNDER POWER LINES!!!!!!!!!! IT'S NOT THAT DIFFICULT OF A CONCEPT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I'd personally love for someone to listen when I tell them that a tree which is obviously diseased,would at least take a drive by to look at it.
DLSJR November 25, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I have always thought the same thing, why would someone plant a new tree under power lines. I complained about a dead tree in my treelawn, and it took them a year to take the tree down after I received a letter form the city deeming the tree to be dead. In addition to, I have been waiting for a year now for the city to come back and finish the sidewalks sections that they replaced last this time last year. There are ankle twisters all along Clifton, I had to re-sod my lawn do to their damage they left to my property. I'm still waiting for someone to come back and pick up the concrete chunks in my treelawn.
S Campbell January 28, 2013 at 05:01 PM
The task force needs to be followed up with by residents. There are many issues regarding potentially dangerous trees that affect neighbors and not necessarily the "public". The city only helps out when a tree affects the public. Resident involvement is this issue is crucial.

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