Tree Branches Fall with the Snow in Manhattan


Giant fallen branches of what appeared to be Callery pear trees lined the streets of Park Avenue on the Thursday night, the first snowfall in New York City.

New York Parks Department said this morning in a report, “As of our 10:30 [am] report, we have 2219 service requests, reported 708 trees down, reported 224 hanging limbs and reported 1287 limbs down.”

These are not actual numbers, but are merely reports, which could be duplicated or triplicated, Crystal Howard of NYC Parks told EST.

The Parks’ forestry team is out addressing the reports, prioritizing any blocked streets, Howard added. 

According to Howard, Manhattan received a “disproportionately large number of tree service requests.” Brooklyn and Queens crews have been dispatched to Manhattan for assistance. 

“While Parks are not closed, out of an abundance of caution...we ask people not to enter at this time,” she said. 

The inner paths of Union Square are closed.

NYC Parks crews and partners have begun clearing pathways of snow across the city. Over 1,000 staff members are involved.

The doorman at 535 Park Avenue denied that this happened every season.

“No, this is very strange,” he said. According to him, the branches must have gotten so moist from the weather that they grew heavier, bended and snapped.

Another doorman at 525 Park Avenue agrees it’s a rare sighting, but suspects the branches were merely weak from being beaten by the last winter season.

Callery pear trees, native to East Asia, are known for their narrow branch angles, weak wood structure, and are extremely susceptible to ice damage, according to tree research center the Morton Arboretum.

The trees are characterized by rich green, ovate leaves with wavy edges.

Planting the trees is “not recommended,” according to the center.

“This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites,” the Morton Arboretum says on its website.

New York City experienced extreme traffic delays as the city was hit with slush.

New Yorkers have been advised to call 311 to report a fallen tree, or 911 if it has caused an emergency. 

All photo credit to Anastassia G.