Tuesday, October 6, 2009


From the NY Times:

AN ANCIENT TREE: Douglaston's oldest landmark by far is a white oak, more than 600 years old, that occupies most of the front yard of a 1960's ranch house at 233 Arleigh Road in Douglas Manor. It is about 70 feet tall and its branches spread almost the entire width of the 100-foot-wide lot. The tree was 17 feet 6 inches in circumference when measured in 1972 by the Long Island Horticulture Society, and by now it has probably added another six inches in girth, said Thomas R. Gaines, a horticulturist who in 2000 helped the Douglaston/Little Neck Historical Society survey about 4,700 large trees in the historic district. The trunk size is proof of the slow-growing oak's advanced age, he said. When the ranch was built in 1965, the owner took great care that the tree was not harmed during construction. Since then, steel cables have been added to stabilize its enormous branches and hollowed portions of the trunk have been filled with concrete. Barring a lightning strike, the tree could last another 100 years or more, Mr. Gaines said. The property is now on the market for $1.2 million. "Ideally, the buyer will be someone interested in history and in this magnificent tree," Mr. Gaines said. "There would be a hue and cry if anything happened to it."

Well, the ideal buyer didn't come along...

"One of the barbarians I call a neighbor cut down the Great White Oak, on Arleigh this weekend, with LPC approval, citing storm damage. We are in mourning... I've spoken to the owner in the past--he's been dying for this occurrence so he can build a new dining room where the tree is...

One of our experts investigated on site and said it could be saved (if one wanted to)... The core hardwood is brittle but sound. If we were in England, they'd be doing cartwheels to extend the life of this marvel!" - anonymous

Photo from the NY Times.

To make up for the loss, Bloomberg planted a new tree in St. Albans:


miss_msry said...

Heck, I live in Houston, TX., and the loss of this tree makes me sad.

Can anyone post a photo of the oak in full leaf?

Anonymous said...

LOL! Now I've heard everything-- so it's Bloomberg who is responsible for this 600 year old tree finally rotting away? How foolish of me to think it was merely nature and time. I guess when it rains later or snows in December, that will be Bloomberg's doing as well. C'mon Queen Crap. Once you lose credibility, it's tough to get it back.

Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

Bloomberg and NYU insisted on unwanted rennovations in Washington Square Park to center the fountain all to benefit the no. 1 real estate magnate NYU who has also torn down many historical buildings and supersized. The most hideous ugly building surrounding the park are NYU's.

Bloomberg NYU gang insisted on tearing trees up and out of Washington Square Park.

Bloomberg portrays himself as a tree lover and green but his reckless tsunami of community crushing development destroyed more green adding more zone busters plotting out nature.

I continue to urge people to visit 120 East 12th Street and see NYU's handiwork with a facade of St Ann's from 1847 attached to yet another hideous sky piecing mega dorm.

Queens Crapper said...

No, asswipe. First of all, you can easily find someone to say what you want them to say. The owners wanted this tree cut down so they could build on the land. I actually edited out a more damning part of the letter that was sent to me which alluded to an intent to kill the tree years before this "storm damage".

The fact of the matter is that the tree was landmarked. So instead of having an independent arborist make a determination as to whether or not the tree could or should be saved, Bloomberg's LPC rubberstamped the destruction and helped mask the owners' ulterior motive.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who starts their comments with "LOL" has lost their credibility. The post was not about Bloomberg being responsible for this tree rotting away. How do we even know that this was the case? Because an arborist that some homeowner hired said it was? This post is about Bloomberg hiring morons who don't know how to protect landmarked structures and don't wan't to know.

Anonymous said...

And likewise Bloom-fuhrer would cut down anyone in his path (includuing elderly citizens) if they hindered his takeover of NYC!

The LPC is his Waffen SS!
Seig Heil Tierny!

Anonymous said...

This "rotting tree" could have survived another century. Would this could be said about any of us.

I hope someone had the presence of mind to save a few acorns. A tree that was so long-lived under less than idea circumstances could pass on excellent genes.

Anonymous said...

How ironic.

As Ken Burns documentary is running on PBS..extolling our national parks...its grand vistas...trees and natural beauty...we run to massacre it locally!

The new owner has placed a curse upon himself by his willful murder of a great living wonder!

"Mother Nature" has a way of balancing the scales and
ultimately he will regret his barbaric act.

A Better NYC said...

God awful.

If the new homeowners are going to expand the house to where the tree used to be, it looks like they're going to eliminate the entire front yard.

Again, God awful.

A big loss for Douglaston.

Anonymous said...

gee, funny how you don't mention a huge branch crashing through their roof a month or two ago.

Anonymous said...

If they were too f-----g cheap to pay an arborist to cable that branch they deserved it.

Too bad the owner wasn't on the crapper while it happened.

Then the limb could have pounded him into his own shit!

Queens Crapper said...

"gee, funny how you don't mention a huge branch crashing through their roof a month or two ago."

Actually, the Times story mentions the branch. That doesn't mean the tree needed to be cut down. Branches fall off otherwise healthy trees all the time.

Anonymous said...

It's always entertaining to watch people change their priorities over private property with those of communal control over said property, as easily as they change hats. (Not that people wear real hats anymore. Douche lids don't count.) So much easier to blame the regulatory agency instead of actually owning up to being against strong control of private property.

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg destroy the city's identity. It is as empty and cold as he is now. People are stupid. Anyone who isn't rich and votes for Bloomberg is dumb as a dining room table.

Anonymous said...

I hate how biased NY1 is. they didn't even mention what Crapper posted here.

CJ said...

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

-- Joyce Kilmer

I couldn't express the sorrow and anger I felt when I read this so I thought I would give Joyce Kilmer a chance when words fail.
On my property I have a several trees, one of which a maple is at least 100 years old. It is my pride and joy and I marvel at what a lovely creation it is. The loss of such a tree is not just a loss for the property owner, but one for all of us.
In some nations of the world, there is accelerated deforestation. It is primarily caused by poor economic conditions. That is not the case here. In this country we have no such condition, but we willfully destroy our environment for no other reason other than selfishness. I hope this homeowner is happy with his accomplishment. He leaves nothing to posterity.

“Pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Right on.

Anonymous said...

Maybe somebody will desecrate his grave someday...in one hundred years or so.

Payback's a bitch in the cosmic scheme of things!

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous
The branch that fell did have a steel cable attached to it, and it still fell damaging the house and breaking the concrete. Had it fallen during the daytime, it could have killed someone.

Anonymous said...

Most people would trim the tree branches to make sure the limbs are not hanging over their house. If they had done that, this whole tragedy could have been avoided.

faster340 said...

Oh screw the mayor and his trees! Have you seen some of these trees they have planted? They look like the sorry ass kite eating tree from the Charlie Brown cartoons!!!!

Anonymous said...

Then that steel cable was improperly applied by, no doubt, "a tree cutter" who was not a registered arborist.

I have 3 trees which are approximately 4 to 6 stories tall hovering over my house.

My certified arborist "Davey Inc." trims them routinely to alleviate wind stress and to guarantee their safety.

Cables have also been properly applied.

I once had 4 trees.

One did have to be cut down, regretfully, because of a dangerous cavity developing in its base.

I consider them living treasure...like being in my own redwood forest.

Anonymous said...

"But because of the rot, the true age of the Great White Oak may never be known, said Mark S. Ashton, a tree expert at Yale. "

Did no one notice this part in the article? There was so much rot in the base, they cant even count the rings to determine the age. So the tree should be left there to fall on the entire house and kill someone?
Yes its a shame that this tree is being taken down. As someone that lives in the area, all the large mature trees are gorgeous to look at and drive through. At the same time, I seriously doubt that the owner wanted to put a dining room in front of their garage up against the sidewalk. those plans just don't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

You're not seriously pointing to that passage from the article as proof that there was rot, right?

The owner paid an arborist to say there was rot. LPC based their decision on this one report, the NY Times called up Yale and relayed the story then asked a question about the age of the tree. There was no Yale tree expert sent out to Queens.

And the tree is not up against the sidewalk. Converting your rooms from one use to another and extending them is commonplace.

This is why our borough looks like crap. Gullible fools who swallow shit hook line and sinker because it was in the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

What is that new planted tree - does it come from Bermuda where Bloomberg lives on weekends? Maybe comes straight from his back yard, loaded onto his jet to Queens?

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer to deffer to the expertise of a tree expert from the Cornell Extension rather than take the word of a "Yale-ie" secondhand through a press article.

Perhaps you were referring to the rot at the base of your cerebrum... you ignorant Douglaston resident!

Anonymous said...

Reading this i laugh at what ignorant idiots some of you are, especially you QUEENSCRAP. Fearmongers and yellow journalism could learn from you.
Where do you get your information and verify it? Gossip Girl? Having lived in Douglaston for most of my life, and now living in another landmarked neighborhood, i am quite familiar with the tree and the block. Speaking to resudents who are mourning the loss of the tree, this started in August, on a night without a storm where a branch the size of a LARGE tree, which you just mention as a branch, slammed into their house at 3am. there was no wind, it was due to rot. The owners have lived there for some time, and have NO desire to renovate, they can't! It is a landmarked hood. they paid no one. This had to be done for safety reasons. It is sad, and the block looks different, but the safety of human life has to come first. And please, check your facts next time. Oh, and try not to criticize people who actually call you out on your lack of information or your snarkiness. It just makes you look more like the cynical ass you are.
And i am guessing if you don't post this, it is because of that famous movie line..."You can't handle the truth."

Queens Crapper said...

1) The owners themselves cited storm damage as the reason the tree limb fell.

2) There is no proof of "rot" other than the documentation by the arborist whom they hired and asked to find rot.

3) The couple verbally told a neighbor that they wished to put a dining room where the tree was. They reportedly asked an arborist a few years ago how they could kill the tree.

4) The neighborhood is a 1920s historic district, but this house was built in the 60s and is therefore not under the same restrictions as the older homes in the area. There have been plenty of other homes in the district that have been demolished and/or altered.

Sorry if you can't handle the truth, which was carefully researched before posting.

Anonymous said...

There was no "rot" in any of the photos I have seen of the cut down tree.

The arborist they originally asked about getting rid of the tree knows a lot of people in the Douglaston area and spilled the beans.

They could alter, extend or even demolish this house and rebuild a with a permit from LPC.

Anonymous said...

"At the same time, I seriously doubt that the owner wanted to put a dining room in front of their garage up against the sidewalk. those plans just don't make any sense."

No, you don't make any sense. The tree was there centuries before this house was built; a garage was therefore not built behind the tree. The tree was to the west of the garage entrance. That's where they want to build the dining room.