Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Richard HallettMichelle L. JohnsonNancy F. Sonti
    Date: 2018
    Source: Landscape and Urban Planning
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Hurricane Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in United States (U.S.) history. The category 2 storm hit New York City (NYC) on the evening of October 29, 2012, causing major flooding, wind damage, and loss of life. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) documented over 20,000 fallen street trees due to the physical impact of wind and debris. However, salt water flooding may have caused additional stress to approximately 48,000 street trees located in the storm's inundation zone. Early in the first growing season following Hurricane Sandy (June 2013), NYC Parks staff examined these street trees and found that 6,864 of the flooded trees had a significant proportion of their crown fail to leaf out. Thirty percent of those trees did not leaf out at all. The most commonly affected trees were London plane (Platanus×acerifolia) and maple species (Acer spp.). Here we show that red maple (Acer rubrum) is negatively impacted by salt water flooding but can recover over time. London plane trees, on the other hand, experience high mortality and show no signs of recovery 3 years post Sandy. We demonstrate that by 2080 a similar storm could impact almost 100,000 of NYC's street trees. These findings have global implications for coastal urban forests as we face sea level rise and an increasing frequency and magnitude of coastal storms.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Hallett, Richard; Johnson, Michelle L.; Sonti, Nancy F. 2018. Assessing the tree health impacts of salt water flooding in coastal cities: A case study in New York City. Landscape and Urban Planning. 177: 171-177.


    Google Scholar


    Street trees, Tree health, Sea level rise, Urban, Salt water flooding

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page