Falling trees and branches have become an ongoing (and terrifying) problem in the city’s parks, thanks in large part to parks department budget cuts. (If you haven’t spent much time thinking about being crushed by a falling branch, and you’d like to, the Times did a great three-part series on recent tree-induced deaths and injuries resulting from the financial stain.)
But the Times reported yesterday that park-side strolls are about to get a whole lot safer: City Council worked with the mayor’s office to add $2M for tree pruning to the proposed $1.45M tree maintenance budget, more than doubling the amount allocated to keeping trees healthy falling branches at bay. It’s not a permanent addition to the annual budget, but parks officials seem confident that the one-time boost will be enough to help get the city back on a more regular pruning schedule — every 7 years instead of every 15.
And Brad Lander, for one, is optimistic about the impending results:
“Tree pruning is something where you don’t see the impact of deferring until there’s a tragedy. …As incidents have shown, there’s a real risk, and, hopefully, getting pruning back on a better schedule will mean New Yorkers will be safer.”