Most tree damage suffered in Central Park’s severe storm was cleaned up in less than a week and the park is functioning well again, thanks in part to the extensive efforts of Almstead Tree and Shrub Care Company, based in New Rochelle.
At the request of the Central Park Conservancy, Almstead responded immediately with emergency crews and employed 24 pieces of equipment, including a 38-ton crane to lift trees from the site.
“We’ve worked on various trees in Central Park for years, so this is really disappointing to see,” said Almstead CEO Ken Almstead. “The mood around the park has been fittingly somber. However, there are still many beautiful trees standing to be grateful for, and I’m proud that our company played a lead role in the well-organized operation to make the park safe again so quickly.” The storm, which hit Aug. 18, left more than 400 trees fallen, and damaged hundreds of others.
Almstead was the dominant contractor on site at the park and used crews and equipment from four of its five offices – with a total of eight 3-person crews and 24 pieces of equipment working on their busiest day. The crews were routed to many of the most difficult projects in the park because of their expertise and extensive resources. Organized by the Conservancy, the work was performed in phases. Safety and preventing further damage were the first priorities, followed by completing removals and restoring the functionality of the park.
One of the most challenging projects at the park was the removal of irreparably damaged trees at the West 100th Street Playground. This state-of-the-art playground opened just two weeks before the storm and was custom designed around the same trees that were damaged. To preserve the surrounding structure, Almstead’s team used a 38-ton crane to lift the trees from the site. The same crane was also used to remove hazardous trees out of the Conservatory Garden.