Storm Tears Trees Out of the Ground in Riverside Park


Around 64th Street in Riverside Park.

Halloween was blissfully dry, but a nasty wind-storm whipped through the neighborhood overnight.

Trees appear to have been ripped — roots and all — from the earth overnight in Riverside Park. These photos were taken by Linda Vogel Kaplan in the area between 59th and 64th Street in the park.

The Parks Department says that 226 trees were toppled throughout the city, and workers are still surveying the damage. If you see a downed tree call 311 (unless it poses a safety risk, at which point call 911).

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 15 comments | permalink
    1. Evan Bando says:

      I knew the tree well. He’d been feeling “unmoored” of late and had said that another Halloween like last year might just be his “undoing.” I had told him that the shade he brought to the exposed riverside during the summer months was a joy to everyone and that he had plenty to live for. “Just get through the winter,” I told him. “And you’ll see once again how important you are to so many New Yorkers.” I guess I didn’t say or do enough. He will not soon be replaced.

    2. Joan Paylo says:

      Sweet comment, Evan! It seems he tree’s last act was to inspire some creative writing. What species was this tree that gave up the ghost on Halloween? Anyone?

      And did its spirits quickly inhabit another tree, or are they wandering around the riverbank?

    3. LesleyB says:

      Kids – get off my lawn!!!

    4. Ira Gershenhorn says:

      That’s terrible. Those look like willow trees. Besides looking pretty and casting lots of shade they also have a necessary function of pulling water out of that obviously sodden area. I say ‘obviously’ because the trees looked like they were doing well. Without them, the area will be more sodden.

    5. Strph says:

      These seem to be young trees in the newer part of the park.

    6. BillyNYC says:

      Wow!
      What is shame.
      Beautiful Willow tree, going to miss it and the awesome color in the late autumn.
      It is quite obvious that tree was top-heavy as willow trees can be.
      There root system lies a mere 18”–24” below ground, when that soil becomes saturated as it has the past week it is easier for a good stiff wind to take down any tree.

    7. B.B. says:

      Willow trees (especially Weeping varieties) then to have extensive but shallow root systems. Thus are very susceptible to damage during strong winds.

    8. Ted says:

      We walked by in the afternoon. The comment about the shallow root system was quite correct. It was amazing this did not happen sooner given how shallow the root structure was. The soil seemed to get rocky very quickly in the hole let by the uprooting. I can’t help but wonder if that didn’t impede the roots. Very sad. As many have said, these were beautiful trees.

    9. kakki says:

      Is it possible to re-plant them? It looks like they are uprooted but still intact.

      • Tree surgeon says:

        No, because it goes right into shock.

      • B.B. says:

        No, not usually; once a tree is uprooted like that it nothing left but to chop it up and take away.

        Suppose tree could be made upright, soil treated with root stimulating hormone and hope for best. But if it doesn’t work you’d have to come back and chop down a dead or dying tree. Ill or dead trees are not only prone to falling or being blown down, but are a magnet for pests.

    10. llon says:

      Sorry to be a whiner, but those trees don’t stand a chance. The massive erosion in that area of the ‘park’ (hard to call it a park with a 2 lane highway going through it, and a 6 lane above it) and the winds off the Hudson simply won’t work.

      I really hope people plant more trees in that area…and get rid of that new highway! (At 5am cars are going quite fast on those roads)