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Philadelphia Officials Still Dealing With Storm-Damaged Trees

(A homeowner stands next to a street tree that did not survive in Northeast Philadelphia.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(A homeowner stands next to a street tree that did not survive in Northeast Philadelphia. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The wrath of Superstorm Sandy is still being felt in the City of Philadelphia, where trees continue to fall days after the storm.

Mark Focht, first deputy commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation, says everyone needs to be cautious because trees and branches weakened by the storm are still toppling.

About 750 street trees have come down since the storm, not counting trees that have fallen in parklands.

“If the tree is located between the curb and the sidewalk, it’s considered in the public right of way and is a ‘street’ tree,” Focht explains.  “That street tree is actually the joint responsibility of the city and the private property owner, so we’ll respond to those emergencies and we’ll take care of it.”

Property owners can call a private contractor to remove the tree, however they will not be reimbursed from the city if they choose that option, Focht warns.

To report a downed street tree in your neighborhood, city residents should call 311.