Tornado Ravaged Trees Won't be Replaced with Federal Funds

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin meeting with city agencies and non-profit groups this week to assess what reimbursements they'll be processing to cover storm damages from last month's tornados.

The city estimates the cost of the cleanup at about $28 million. FEMA will cover 75 percent of eligible costs (state and local government share the remaining 25 percent). But the funds won't go toward replacing uprooted trees damaged by the storms.

Darin Johnson, with the New York Restoration Project, an organization dedicated to restoring parks and green spaces, says thousands of trees lost in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens will not be replaced easily.

"Even if we are successful in our efforts to replant every tree lost -- it will take decades for the canopy to be replaced and the full health, environmental and economic benefits to be realized," Johnson said.

Johnson says purchasing and replanting the trees will cost between $4-6 million. The city is working on a plan to raise the money to cover the lost trees.