It doesn't matter how healthy or sickly a tree might be, with winds over 45 miles per hour, all bets are off, said arborist Grey Elliffe of Arborscape. Winds in Rye reached about 80 miles per hour at the height of Sandy, according to reports.
Elliffe has been working around the clock to help private residents and commercial businesses get trees out of their living rooms, literally.
"It is the worst I have ever seen," Elliffe said, explaining that he has no idea how many trees he has helped remove from houses, but it is in the dozens. In terms of tree damage, this is worse than the Nor'easter of '92 that many are comparing Sandy to, he said. Which means Elliffe, like many others working to cleanup after Sandy, has gotten very little sleep this week while trying his best to help all of the customers with serious tree emergencies.
While municipalities work with Con Edison to clear trees entangled in wires and blocking roads, it is up to residents to take care of the fallen branches and trees on their own property.
And while arborists would normally finish an entire job on one site before taking on others, in the wake of Sandy, they are helping customers with emergencies first. Once they help everyone who has a tree poking through their house or safety hazards on their property, they will return to the customers to help clean the rest of the mess, Elliffe said. On Thursday afternoon he had just finished a job clearing dangerous tree limbs from the Shenorock Shore Club.
"It is the worst around here, Chappaqua, Armonk, Rye and Harrison," Elliffe said.
Healthy trees fall more than sickly trees because the leaves catch the wind, but well pruned trees tend to fare better in storms, Elliffe said.
But, as published above, with winds higher than 45 miles per hour, all bets are off, according to the arborist.
Read Rye Brook's guidelines for green waste here.
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