By Lisa Foderaro
One of the strangest monuments to Hurricane Sandy’s lethal power is an ever-growing mound in Cunningham Park in Queens, an unwieldy heap of tree trunks, splintered limbs and leafy branches.
“Sandy was a very, very powerful event, more powerful than we’re used to experiencing, and our trees were really whacked.”
Next to it rises an even larger pile, about 25 feet high, representing the fate of all the fallen oaks, silver maples and London plane trees: wood chips.
As the city continues to right itself from the storm, the toll on the natural landscape is coming into clearer focus. Perhaps not surprisingly, it turns out that the storm struck the city’s trees like a chain saw onmethamphetamines, toppling more than 8,000 street trees and destroying thousands more in parks and woodlands.
That is twice the number of trees that came down last year during Tropical Storm Irene and triple the loss from a tornado the year before that.
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