Will Trees Damaged In Ice Storm Recover?

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Drive anywhere in the city of Watertown and you'll likely see a downed tree or two.

Thousands were damaged by December's ice storm.

Piles of branches and brush are everywhere.

But it could have been much worse if it hadn't been for the Ice Storm of 1998.

"I think 1998 took out most of the trees that would create a problem and everything is thinned out. So that's why we didn't have as many problems this year," said Sue Gwise of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

But it's still a long road to recovery.

With new layers of snow and ice, it could take months to get all the trees and piles of branches cleaned up.

"I know in my own yard stuff is still frozen to the ground and it's just going to have to sit there until spring when we can get to it," said Gwise.

Officials say of the roughly 4,500 trees owned by the city of Watertown, about 20 percent were damaged.

"We're looking at pruning anywhere from 600 to 700 trees throughout the city and removing maybe 40 or 50," said Michael Lumbis, city planner.

"Watertown has a very active group, Tree Watertown, and every year we plant trees twice a year. It's an ongoing thing and we're just going to keep going with that," said Gwise.

Building up the tree population and getting the city back to where it was.

Thursday, July 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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