Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the village of Malvere's tree-lined landscape.
Paul Jessup, superintendent of Malverne's Department of Public Works, estimates that Sandy's strong winds pulled down anywhere from 200 to 300 trees in the village including 11 large oaks in Westwood alone. And many of the trees that were still standing after the storm passed, suffered considerable damage.
After clearing away the downed trees and eliminating those that were leaning on power lines, splitting or posing other dangers, the village known for its "Oaks from Acorns" motto is working on a plan to restore its tree population.
"Our tree-lined streets are a beautiful combination of what makes Malverne such a beautiful community, " Trustee Patricia Canzoneri-Callahan, who sits on the village's Tree and Beautification Committee, stated at the December village board meeting. She added, "We can't leave the village in the current way it looks."
Canzoneri-Callahan explained that the village compiled a list of damaged trees, which it continues to monitor, and plans to have each of them evaluated by an arborist to determine if they need to come down too.
For instance, "Bradford Pears tend to get too big for their trucks, and split and cause problems," she said.
As for rebuilding Malverne's tree population, the Tree and Beautification Committee along with other village trustees recently met with a representative from the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Nassau County to begin to create a plan. Once a more definite one has been crafted it will be presented to the village board for consideration.
"This storm was extremely unusual," Canzoneri-Callahan said. "There were trees that snapped that I just thought never would come down; trees that weren't even uprooted that were just completely decimated and there are things there that we just never anticipated."
The unprecedented storm has made some residents, especially those living in close proximity to a large tree, look at them differently. What was once picturesque now may appear more threatening.
"I don't want residents to be scared and say that we are not going to replant and rebuilt our tree population," Canzoneri-Callahan stated. "It makes Malverne the beautiful place that we know and love."
To ease residents' worries, Canzoneri-Callahan said the village is "committed to making sure that we rebuild in a safe manner to protect all the residents and prevent damage to homes and taking out wires."
Residents can report damaged trees in the village by calling Village Hall at 516-599-1200.