Queens homeowners and local officials are criticizing the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for what they call a failure to maintain city trees that fell in their neighborhoods during Hurricane Sandy.
Residents say they asked for many of the trees that fell to be removed before the storm.
Senator Tony Avella said he hopes to form a committee of tree specialists to evaluate the current rules for tree removal and create new ones.
"They all said, 'I've been trying to get the city to do something about this tree for years,'" Avella said. "Those were the trees that came down."
"I've had a lot of my neighbors in my civic association call me and say, 'We have trees down, what are we going to do?'" said Michael Castellano, president of the Neighborhood Association.
In response, a parks spokesperson said, in part, "No tree, no matter how frequently pruned or carefully looked after, is immune to damage from hurricane-force winds."
"The Parks Department takes extensive precautions to ensure that our trees are safe and well-maintained," the spokesperson added. "Any homeowner can arrange a free street tree inspection by calling 311."