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Pelham Daily Voice serves Pelham, NY

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Breaking News: Storms Knock Out Power To Hundreds In Westchester

Pelham On Lookout For Problem Trees, Branches

PELHAM, N.Y. – Last weekend’s snow storm left some Pelham residents without power for days as tree branches snapped under the weight of the snow and wet leaves and fell onto power lines. The juice has largely been restored but some trees could not be saved.

Even during pleasant weather, some low hanging trees and branches could threaten power lines. But village administrator Robert Yamuder said that the village government cannot inspect all trees in Pelham because it is “too labor intensive”.

“We don’t have the manpower to do that,” Yamuder said. “(For) the village trees, we’re out there every day. (It’s) not a formal inspection, but if we see something, we’ll fix it.”

Yamuder said the village must be reactive and deal with trees on a case-by-case basis. He added that a tree could look healthy but then fall the next day. If someone calls the village to report a problem, then they will send someone to fix it.

Margaret Falk, the associate vice president for landscape, gardens and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, said last weekend's snowstorm caused the most damage that she has seen in her 20 years working at the garden.

"It was the timing of the heavy, early snow storm," said Falk, who lives in Scarsdale. "The heavy, wet snow and the wind, that combination was just devastating."

Homeowners across the region have seen their trees and shrubs damaged to one degree or another and at an untold cost. Some properties will need replanting but some can be repaired.

To help shrubs or small trees to rebound from the storm, gardeners can gently knock the snow off plants and then go through with sharp pruning or lopping shears to make clean cuts where branches have cracked or broken, Falk said.

With trees that have lost limbs, it is best to call a professional, Falk said, to assess whether the tree has become unbalanced and should be pruned or whether the tree should be removed because it is unsafe.

"Once a tree becomes unbalanced, it might be more likely to come down or break apart in another storm," Falk said. Some of the oldest and biggest trees experienced the worst breaks and have the least chance of surviving.

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