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Resource ID: #25953
Source:City Limits (New York)
New York City owns and maintains hundreds of thousands of trees. More than just a touch of nature in an urban landscape, they are a major tool in combating asthma, particularly in poorer sections. But they come at a price. With each major storm ravaging trees, the city faces millions of dollars in claims for property damage, some severe injuries and, on rare occasions, deaths, as limbs shear off and trees are uprooted. The prospects are the problem is only going to get worse. The city has quietly been slashing tree maintenance. The leading species of trees owned by the city is not even native to the area, but variety with a propensity for collapsing in heavy weather. By analyzing city tree databases, obtaining under open records laws records documenting storm damage, scouring budget records, and doing countless interviews, the students, in this unique story, documented the hidden cost of the city's trees, and the policy implications.