by allen houston
council member gale brewer and her staff spent two weeks at the end of july recording the status of every street tree on the upper west side during the district's annual tree check-up.
the results of their survey found that out of 3,468 trees, 66 were "at-risk" due to having illness warning signs, like displaying few leaves and barren limbs. they also identified streets where there was the opportunity to plant more trees.
"dying and drought-stressed trees are much more common this year," brewer said in a statement. "our street trees are a wonderful amenity and a big investment, and we need to take more responsibility for them. without adequate water and care, they will not survive."
there was good news as well. over the last year, 180 trees have been planted in the district as part of mayor michael bloomberg's planyc 2030 initiative to plant 1 million trees over 30 years.
according to studies by the department of parks, new york's 592,130 trees provide an annual cost benefit of $122 million, as well as lower street temperatures and improve air quality.