The giving tree (2)

Via dolorosa

And then there were three. Above is the horrible picture of another perfectly healthy, mature oak tree being torn down on 23rd Street North by the Public Works department (see our previous post here for Part 1). Note the anguished downtown resident begging the workman to stop; the workman of course had to follow orders. We do understand that Public Works employees, off the record, have stated they saw no good reason why healthy 35-year oaks needed to come down.

The grim remains

I urge anyone who’s moved by this arbitrary decimation of an essential urban asset to contact the Mayor’s office and your City Council person, to demand that an orderly process be reinstated at the City, whereby Public Works must communicate with Planning and City Landscape Architects before making decisions about removing trees. Right now that communication isn’t there.

35 years of planning and nurturing--felled in a week's time

Above you see the now completely denuded half-block in front of  Baldone’s Tailor shop. The fact that this is a west-facing elevation makes this all the more tragic.

I sincerely hope that the Mayor and Council will recognize this as an immediate problem that needs solving. Downtown residents, visitors, and flaneurs aren’t happy. People who care about planning and urban landscape aren’t happy. A little bit of intra-departmental communication could go a long way toward increasing transparency and rebuilding trust. Here’s hoping.

15 responses to “The giving tree (2)

  1. I will bring this up at Design Review in the a.m.

  2. Would love to know “whose orders”. Not the norm for handling trees in the City. I know they are on a city ROW, but usually there is a valid reason and usually HUF has the final say in whether or not a tree comes down. Wonder if “prune up” somehow got translated to “cut down.” The Public Works crews are losing experienced people by the boatload with the buyout.

    I hope that the citizens of District 5 and of the Central City neighborhood get something replanted quickly. The Make A Difference program used to provide free trees to neighbors who plant them and would pledge to keep them watered for two years. They were in ten gallon buckets. Granted what is planted now, without major expense will take years to grow to significant size, but it would be something. But it’s worth a phone call and/or an email.

  3. I have requested some trees from the city nursery to plant at different locations by my friends on public property. I haven’t heard back as of yet. That would be a great location.

  4. This is absolutely horrible!!!!!! What reason would anyone have to do this? There is not justifiable one that I can think of! What absolute morons.

  5. That’s sad. Are they clearing space for a new drive-thru?

  6. I spoke to the Mayor’s office today. The reason given was the sidewalk contractor had cut the support roots and they were worried they posed a hazard. That is the official answer why they were removed.

    • Well, first of all the contractor was under contract with the City itself. Second of all–does anyone know why this would pose a hazard exactly? And was this the reason for all three trees that have been removed over the last 10 days on this block? Thanks for placing the call!

  7. Perhaps these are the same ‘sidewalk contractors’ that chopped up the roots of a 75 year old linden tree in my front yard merely to repair a cracked sidewalk, ultimately killing the tree. Without the direct oversight of a horticulture department, this sort of ignorant disregard will go on forever.

    • And these are the same contractors who somehow managed to bend the corner of an awning on our building with their backhoe; the only way to repair it is to remove the entire awning frame, have it rewelded in a shop, the fabric restretched, and then reinstalled. Quite a piece of work these contractors!

  8. Thanks–it’s no big deal, we’ll get it repaired. We were just pretty upset with their level of care during their work.

  9. Pingback: The giving tree (3) | Bhamarchitect's Blog

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