Trees down as storm largely spares JP

Trees and large limbs are down around Jamaica Plain and the rest of the city in the wake of Hurricane Sandy yesterday. While the gigantic storm devastated New Jersey and New York City and killed people as far away as Toronto, it was not as strong as predicted here. Unlike some coastal areas and suburbs of Massachusetts, JP appears to have suffered no major damage or widespread power outages.

A 120-foot-tall light pole at White Stadium in Franklin Park toppled in the storm, according to the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. A billboard blew down on Washington Street across from the Forest Hills T Station and the debris already has been moved to a nearby parking lot.

Fallen trees and branches were blocking sidewalks and bike paths on the Jamaicaway and in Jamaica Pond Park this morning, just a few of the hundreds of tree damage cases being tallied by city and state officials. Early reports indicate that the tree loss is not as bad as that caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irene 14 months ago.

JP’s tree-lined state parkways lost only one full tree, on the Arborway in front of Arnold Arboretum, according to Department of Conservation and Recreation spokesperson S.J. Port. Many limbs fell as well, she said, adding that damage is still being assessed.

“We were lucky to have been largely spared,” Port said.

The Arboretum is assessing its own trees for damage, according to spokesperson Julie Warsowe. The Arboretum is open as usual, but “visitors are urged to observe caution in the landscape as many of our trees may have been weakened or compromised,” Warsowe said.

Most of JP remains under a federal ban on transporting wood out of the area due to the possibility of spreading the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). That means taking a little bit of care in how residents clean up any tree debris in their yards. Residents hiring a tree removal company should make sure it is certified by the state to handle wood that may contain the ALB. To check, call 857-200-2380 or see 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.

Any fallen trees, downed power lines or other storm damage can be reported to the Mayor’s Hotline at 617-635-4500.

This article will be updated with any new information from authorities.

A jogger passes a large limb felled by Hurricane Sandy on the path around Jamaica Pond on the morning of Oct. 30. (Gazette Photo by John Ruch)

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