Long Beach, NY - June 22, 2016 - Almost four years ago, Superstorm Sandy destroyed approximately 2,400 trees in Long Beach, leaving the City with the task of replacing them. With financial assistance from the state and federal governments, thanks to the help of help of Senator Chuck Schumer and Billy Crystal, the City set out to remove the dead and dying trees and went on to plant more than 3,000 new trees in the spring and fall of 2015.
“Long Beach is blooming, and the City is looking better every day,” said City Manager Jack Schnirman. “Long Beach’s trees, like its community, are demonstrating their resilience as we continue to move forward in our long-term recovery.”
The first step in this process was to create a Tree Replanting Master Plan which the City did with the help of its team of arborists. The Plan incorporated best practices from other municipalities and followed recommendations from NYSDEC and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The City also coordinated with arborists and landscape architects from LiRo, in developing a program which outlined, in great detail, species types and locations throughout all of Long Beach for trees to be planted.
Thanks to the City’s comprehensive Tree Replanting Master Plan, the expert support of the City’s partners, along with the continuous and thorough care provided by City’s Department of Public Works employees, approximately 92% (2,810 out of 3,060) of the new trees have survived to bloom for spring 2016. On May 25, the City planted the last 40 trees left from the last planting season, closing out the initial planting phase of this project. It was originally anticipated that up to 20% of the new trees would fail to thrive, necessitating replacement.
The City’s agreement with its contractor, Louis Barbato Landscaping, Inc., provides a one year warranty for all of the trees, meaning that the replacement of the 250 trees comes at no cost to the City. The contractor began replacing these trees in late May.
"Removing and replacing thousands of trees in less than two years is an incredible accomplishment," said City Council Vice President Anthony Eramo. "The fact that almost all of these new trees survived is truly amazing, and it clearly demonstrates the value of competent leadership from our dedicated and knowledgeable City workforce, and the expertise of our partners. Clearly, our Tree Replanting Master Plan was successfully implemented."
Going forward, as per the tree program master plan, the City has allocated funds in the 2016-2017 Capital Plan to continue our replanting efforts, looking at areas where trees can be placed, planting those trees in the fall of this year.
In addition, earlier this year, the City of Long Beach was awarded the designation of “Tree City” by the New York State Department of Conservation Division of Lands & Forests. Tree City USA is a program sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the state forestry agencies (NYS DEC). It provides direction, technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities that more than 93 million Americans call home. It is a prestigious designation that, in light of our unprecedented replanting program, is well deserved.
About Long Beach
The City of Long Beach is one of only two cities on Long Island, and it currently has a population of about 35,000 people spread across two square miles of land surrounded by water. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Reynolds Channel on the other, Long Beach is a beautiful seaside community. In winter and summer, one can find strollers, joggers, and bicycle riders along the 2.2-mile oceanfront boardwalk. The adjacent beach is a 3.5-mile stretch of pure white sand, open to the public year round. For more information about Long Beach, please visit here or contact the City’s Public Relations Department at 516-431-1000 ext. 7216 or via email.