NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Trees lining Richmond Avenue on Staten island have been getting extra attention from residents, but for all of the wrong reasons.
Concerned residents told CBS 2’s Elise Finch that the trees are supposed to be providing shade and beauty but instead are damaged and dying.
“You don’t know if that tree is gonna collapse on somebody god forbid. A lot of trees have been falling and it’s just dangerous,” said Annette Capestany.
Experts said that any number of factors, from trees to bike chains, could be causing the trees to die.
“Any urine from a cat or a dog it’s almost poison,” said Kenneth Pikowski of Fanelli’s Landscape Supply.
Other hazards including air pollution, limited growth space for roots, and this year’s weather may also be contributing to the problem.
“You have insects but when you don’t have a bad winter you have double the insects because nothing died over the winter,” said Pikowski, “If you get a drought for a couple of months and that water table drops down, they’re all gonna stress out and you’re gonna lose a lot of them.”
A spokesperson for the New York City Parks Department told CBS 2 that the city is doing its best to protect the trees.
“Parks forestry works daily across the city to care for our 600-thousand street trees and we have trained forestry experts and crews in every borough,” the Parks Department said.
The Parks Department has also encouraged residents to report any problem trees and to assist in the watering of new and distressed trees. Some residents seem eager to help.
“If this is your community then you should be willing to take a step towards benefiting it and helping it as well,” said Maria Labib.
Experts said that additional watering will go a long way toward reversing the damage done by this year’s hot and dry conditions.
Will you be joining the fight to save Staten Island’s trees? Let us know in our comments section below…