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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trees and Hurricanes

Here in Westchester County, a little north of New York City, the worst damage in many areas that Hurricane Sandy wrought was due to fallen trees.

Trees, like all living organisms, have lifespans.   An old, weak tree is easily identified.  The trees that you see pictured below, which fell on our house, were on our radar, were a source of concern for us, for years.  My wife had let Paul Feiner, our excellent town supervisor, know about these trees.  He referred us to an official responsible for dangers on property - an environmental planner / forestry officer.  He showed us the law - which said the town of Greenburgh couldn't do anything about trees on a neighbor's private property, even when they pose a deadly hazard.

We've had our property inspected for too much brush.  Unmowed lawns can bring a summons.  But trees that can kill if they fall - nothing the town can do about them.

We were lucky last night.  Had the falled trees been a foot closer or longer, a lot more damage would have been done.  People in other areas of the country were indeed killed by falling trees.

The law needs to be changed.  Governments should stop bothering people about lawns and shrubbery and do what we elect them to do: protect and save lives.

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