BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In October 2006, an early season snow cripled the city’s canopy. Tens of thousands of trees were lost. And efforts to revive Buffalo’s landscape are ongoing.
“We started back in ’07, which was the planting season, April, after the October storm,” said Paul D. Maurer, chairman Re-TreeWNY, “And we’ve been planting ever since. This was our 17th planting.”
The October storm came at the worst time. Wet, heavy snow blanketed leaf-covered trees, its weight snapping some of the city’s largest and oldest, like dozens in Delaware Park.
“When we saw the storm devastation back in ’06, we realized it wasn’t something that anybody had planned for,” Maurer said. “Government just didn’t have a contingency plan for this, there was no money set aside for it.”
Twice a year, Re-Tree Western New York volunteers plant hundreds of trees, like the event that took place last weekend, when more than 450 trees were set in the ground and staked.
Then came November, when environmentalists held their collective breath. The extent of the damage isn’t yet known, but it appears Buffalo’s trees dodged a bullet, even if the city took a direct hit.
“We don’t expect it to have affected us too much, but we really won’t know that until the leaf-out, which will be in about late April or early May when we fully see what’s happened over the last year or so, or last season,” Maurer said.
Each tree costs approximately $100, which includes stakes and supplies. The group plants between 800 and 1,000 trees every year. Money to fund Re-Tree comes from private donations and Buffalo Green Fund, which it joined last year, according to Green Fund Board President Cindy Kincaide.
People interested in volunteering for Re-Tree WNY can call (716) 843-0133, or visit the organization’s website.