Thursday, July 5, 2007
Kissena trees imperiled by Parks Dept
DEPARTMENT OF PARKS CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION AND THE IMPACT TO HISTORIC PARKLAND TREES, KOREAN WAR MEMORIAL, HISTORIC GROVE, KISSENA PARK
"Amidst numerous other construction impacts to the trees within the Historic Grove, recently the storage of a large volume of excavated fill upon a grass median and the critical root zone (CRZ) of large and historic shade trees was observed in the Historic Grove several weeks ago. These trees exist immediately to the east and west of this grass median. While arborists would be alarmed by this condition the intrusion upon the landscape with tree roots does not register as important with DPR Capital engineers or Central Forestry who contributed to the wording of the tree protection specifications for Capital construction projects. The Article 14 specification in this contract, though it does mention “root zone” only conveniently forbids the contractor from storing materials or equipment within the drip-line of trees. This location is clearly outside of the drip-line and apparently for DPR engineers there are few roots of importance outside the drip-line.
The Kissena Park Civic Association demanded that the engineers have the contractor relocate the stored fill with care so as not to further compact the underlying soil. The easiest and quickest method to do that and under the supervision of a Capital engineer was with a Bobcat loader that repeatedly drove across the grass median, under a load further compacting the landscape. The engineer will now likely rototill the soil as the accepted method for landscape remediation outside of drip-lines, further damaging and eliminating vital tree roots belonging to these historic trees. More to come."