Storm fells trees

September 9, 2011
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Tropical storm Irene downed trees around Jamaica Plain on Aug. 28 as the former hurricane blew through town with winds up to 65 mph.

Large trees were reported down in local parks, including Jamaica Pond, Franklin Park and the Southwest Corridor. Several streets were blocked by fallen trees and parts of Jamaica Hills suffered power outages for days after the storm. At least three vehicles were crushed by trees or branches in Stonybrook and Sumner Hill. There were no reports of injuries.

As of Aug. 31, the City had received more than 100 reports of trees or large branches down in JP, according to Bernie Lynch, director of parks for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Citywide, there were about 1,300 reports, he said.

The storm was hardly the worst to hit Boston in recent years, Lynch said. But, he added, “In perspective, it’s pretty damaging to the large treescape.”

He estimated that it will take weeks to remove all of the fallen trees.

Anyone still cleaning up trees or branches in their yards must be careful not to spread the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).

Most of JP remains under a ban against transporting wood out of the area due to the possibility that the tree-killing beetle is hiding inside it. ALBs were found last year at Faulkner Hospital, but appear not to have spread from there. The Parks Department has the following cleanup tips.

The state keeps a list of companies that are certified in removing and transporting wood that is possibility infested with ALB. Residents hiring a tree removal company should make sure it is on that list. The list is available by calling 508-852-8110 or visiting massnrc.org/pests/alb.

The state also recommends using the following organizations to find a tree removal contractor: International Society of Arborists (isa-arbor.com) and Massachusetts Certified Arborists (massarbor.org).

Residents cleaning up smaller branches should place them in a separate marked barrel or paper leaf bag and put them out on the curb on trash collection day. Branches should not be mixed with regular trash. The City will pick up the branches and run them through a wood-chipper.

To report fallen trees that are causing a public danger, call the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500.

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