Tuesday, October 6, 2009
BLOOMBERG'S LPC BLESSES DESTRUCTION OF L.I.'S OLDEST TREE
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: