Bye Bye Dead Trees

To all those sycamores: It’s been fun. You are beautiful, but I’m glad to see you go. You’ve been sick long before Sandy. Your branches dent my car. Your leaves litter my lawn several times a year. Chopping you down and grinding you up can’t come soon enough. Goodbye old friends. 

Yep, Long Beach has undertaken a giant task of removing Sandy-murdered trees city-wide. You will be notified when your block is next in line. One might say this project is bigger than the boardwalk itself. Although, wouldn’t it have been cool to use all this potential wood for the boardwalk? (That never would have happened, but it makes for a great joke.)

Want to know when your neck of the woods will be chopped down?Here you go:

The City’s contractor, Dragonetti Brothers Landscaping, has begun the removal of dead trees around the City based on the expertise of a contracted arborist and FEMA. For the week of Monday, May 5, work will be focused on West Penn Street and West Beech Street. This work will involve temporary block closures. Residents in areas where work will be taking place are receiving letters in their mailboxes 72 hours in advance so they have proper time to plan accordingly. Residents can rest assured, only those trees that have been identified as dead/dying by the City’s contracted arborist and FEMA are going to be removed. The removal is taking place now because the arborist had to wait until spring for the trees to bloom before evaluating them. This process will continue block by block throughout the City over the next several weeks.


FAQ – Tree Removal Project

Question #1: Why is the tree in front of my house being removed?

Answer: The City of Long Beach is removing trees that have been declared either dead or dying as a result of salt water inundation by an ISA Certified Arborist that are located in the utility strips in residential neighborhoods.


Question #2: How is this project being paid for?

Answer: This project is being funded by FEMA.


Question #3: The City has ground out the stump of the tree but there is a mess left in its place, do I have to clean that up?

Answer: No, that is the responsibility of the contractor. The contractor has indicated to the City that once they have a large volume of ground stumps, they will be sending a truck through to remove the debris and to level the area with top soil.


Question #4: Do I need to call the City and let them know that I think my tree is dead?

Answer: No, the arborists that the City has hired are going block by block inspecting each and every tree in the utility strips. If they have not yet gotten to your block they will get to your block within the next several weeks.


Question #5: Will the City be planting new trees?

Answer: Yes, the City will be undertaking a replanting project. Please be aware that trees will not be planted immediately as the weather is becoming too warm to plant trees. Trees are best planted in the spring and fall seasons. Therefore, residents will see the first part of the replanting program begin in the fall of 2014.


Questions #6: What types of trees will the City be planting?

Answer: The City will be planting a variety of trees and will be consulting with arborists and nursery professionals to determine which trees will be the best fit. The City WILL NOT be planting all of one species (monoculture) as was done before. The City will be planting a variety of trees on each block.


Question #7: How will I be notified that my tree is being removed?

Answer: Residents will get a notice in their mailbox from the contractor indicating that they have 72 hours to remove their vehicles from the street. On the same notice they will give residents a timeframe of when they will be working in that area.


Question #8: Who has the City hired to do the tree removal?

Answer: Dragonetti Brothers Landscaping.

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7 thoughts on “Bye Bye Dead Trees”

  1. Sounds like the boardwalk project – some of it was damaged, so rip it all down and replace it. It’s free….. or is it? At $3,300/yr. for my flood insurance, I don’t think so. So some are damaged or dead, or dying (isn’t everything dying) and rip them all out now. Entire blocks denuded now? Did they consider leaving the healthier ones until next year, or the following year?

  2. Dead trees, especially sycamores which tend to fall apart, need to be removed. You can’t have rotting dead trees just sitting around. it’s a liability and dangerous situation for all in this city environment.

    If you read the FAQ that I posted, you will see an arborist is going block by block to see which trees stay and which ones go. This is a project that must be done.

    I really think the city did it right. They waited a summer to see what came back, here we are a year and a half removed from Sandy and it’s easier to tell. If it’s dead now, it’s dead for good.

  3. I thought of the same thing earlier – not just birds, but squirrels, opossums and whatever else lurks around here. Don’t know what the answer is.. but i think it’s going to take a while until all the trees are taken down.

  4. Is anyone paying attention to this? It seems as if trees that aren’t dead and just need some maintenance are being completely removed. The tree that we’ve had pruned and had an arborist look at previously and had been given a good diagnosis, has been marked for removal. This is going to affect property values until whatever is planted grows in. The dead ones should be removed, but not trees that are doing ok just because the tree company is working on it now. And, are they being paid per tree removed?

  5. Yes, Chris. The City is for sale. Since FEMA is putting a bounty on every tree the City cuts, they are essentially “clear cutting” the east end for a couple of bucks. It’s also the opinion of at least two of the City Council members that “the old trees are ugly”.

    Of course many healthy trees are being cut, as you have observed. Anyone with a pair of eyes and a brain can see this. It’s likely that the City feels it’s stemming future problems at no cost.

    If they are right or wrong depends on if you like trees. The sycamores being cut were planted by Mayor Charlie Gold in 1930.

    Vote in November.

  6. These trees have been homeowners responsibility to maintain since 1990 or so– in the cases where trees aren’t dead homeowners should be given the choice of it coming down. I’ve been maintaining the tree in front of my yard– at considerable expense and wouldn’t have bothered if the city was going to just cut it down.

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