Monday, March 1, 2010

To tree or not to tree?

From the Daily News:

Mayor Bloomberg's MillionTreeNYC plan could be creating a million headaches - and almost as much in costs - for homeowners.

His plan to plant a million trees by 2017 to help New Yorkers breathe a little easier could also tear up homeowners' sidewalks and sewer pipelines.

While the city does fix sidewalks, there is a long waiting list, leaving cracked sidewalks an open invitation for people to trip and injure themselves, with lawsuits not far behind, a Daily News investigation has found.

A 2005 city tree census found 5.2 million trees. Officials identified 220,000 streets that could use more. Then they started planting.

So far, the city and the New York Restoration Project have planted 303,000 trees, with a total budget of just under $125 million.

The city has spent $14 million since 2005 to fix 6,624 sidewalks torn up by tree roots, according to the city Parks Department.

Foresters evaluate each problem, and depending on their rating, a homeowner can wait more than a year to have the work done, said City Councilman James Vacca (D-East Bronx).

The devastation tree roots can have on sewer pipes is another problem.

Now compare the above referenced article to this one by another News reporter that reads like a Parks Dept press release. Heh.

I think a bigger concern is the money thrown down the toilet by the Parks Dept by planting trees in bad places which leads to their demise, street trees cut down by developers and killed by homeowners, and trees on private property that have been destroyed for purposes of greed. A million more trees won't do much good if we lose a million-and-a-half trees that are already growing. (cough..cough..Ridgewood Reservoir..cough..cough)

Where's the article about that?


Anonymous said...

I have a big huge tree in front of my house and it has broken my sidewalk, pushed out the curb and I have a service come 4X yearly to clean out my water lines. The sidewalk belongs to the city, I pay taxes on it, I have to maintain it and I have to pay for all the problems the trees create. I'm not reimbursed. It's not a good idea. Even the new, so called, smaller tress are breaking up the sidewalks....I think that big chunk of money should be spent somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

If the big tree is pruned so that it does not fall on your house, it is a good thing. The shade that it throws on your home in the summer significantly reduces your air conditioning bills and when you walk down a tree-filled street in the summer you won't perish from heatstroke.

Trees cut down wind and the resultant heat loss in winter too and also reduce bills then.

Anonymous said...

maybe had more small parks with trees and just some benches for people to sit

Anonymous said...

The trees are, for the most part,good.Too bad most folks don't water or weed them,especially in front of local bisiness's.

Babs said...

Street trees are extremely hardy and do not need to be watered - I do water mine from time to time when it's very dry and hot, but it's truly unnecessary.

On commercial streets, the area around them should be maintained. I don't think that's too much to ask of business owners - you have to sweep or shovel the snow from your walk and curb - so you pick up a weed or two - what's the big deal?

The homeowner has a good point about the problem with tree roots - the city is now fining us for cracked and raised sidewalks - the cost of cementwork is hefty - as much as I LOVE my trees, these new laws created quite a dilemna for us!

Anonymous said...

As a business manager, I'm happy to maintain our tree, but it's hard to keep on top of the constant barrage of trash and dog poo that people feel compelled to deposit under the tree throughout the day or leave overnight when we're closed. Of course we get ticked by sanitation if we don't keep on top of it, which is hard to do when you're trying to run your damn business!

Joe said...

I remember in Ridgewood on Seneca ave me and 2 others guys had a "steak out" for car thieves inside my van.

Come 5 AM what do we find ?
The new landlord 2 house down with a hand drill, funnel and 32 oz bottle attacking a 90 year old London Plane tree his front sidewalk shared with another homeowner.
We grabbed him and were about to make make him drink what was in the bottle but somebody called the 104 cops who arrested all of us.
The landlord confessed to having to car battery acid in the bottle.
The new landlord had a beef with the trees because he didn't like driving from his home in Astoria to sweep leaves during fall.

Months later the same tree was found in the morning with holes leaking bubbly stuff.
The tree died the following spring. A different tree is there a couple feet to the west at 1067 Seneca

Joe said...

Fixing you own sidewalk is no big deal.
Every couple years you chip out the raised parts backfill and level takes 2 hours one or two 80 pound bags of gravel mix and a 1 pound bag of grey tint.
My grandfather was doing it for people on our Seneca and Norman st block when he was 78 years old.
Whats the big F_ing deal, have men become that lazy and usless ?
Good gosh what a'Os !

It no wonder the MILFs and daughters on Fresh Pond Road are banging Jose wile metrosexual husbands play with pens downtown.


Anonymous said...

One of the main reasons I bought my house in my Ridgewood street was due to the amount of huge matured trees in the side walks. It's beautiful to see them during the spring and summer and even during the few snow storms. I think they add value to the properties and a plus is less noise and shelter from the heat in the summer. Yes, they break side walks and you need to clean around them, but luckily most owners/tenants around the neighborhood take care of the issues. Today, I was sad to see a number of pruned branches today as I walked down the block, probably sanitation came and cut them down due to storm damage. Nevertheless, a number of baby trees where planted in the last 1-2 years in the same block and I look forward to see them grow.

Anonymous said...

Wrong,those trees need water.90 degree days,no rain,my trees look great.The others on the block lose half their leaves by the end of august.Once a week i give them a sloww long water.keep the sol loose and a little food in spring and fall.

Babs said...

Anonymous - who watered the oak trees back in Washington's day?

Granted some fools have planted more delicate trees w/o the city's permission on the streets - yes, THEY and only they need water.

Babs said...

Joe - I could be wrong, but I believe the city is NOT allowing homeowners to patch.

My neighbor (and I have to question her to be sure I didn't misunderstand) had to REPLACE certain squares - as you probably know the problem with that is it compromises the integrity of the square next to it.

She was given a name of a "recommended" contractor. She was also given the choice of asking another contractor to do the job - but that's it.

5 other homes on that block were told to do the same - the cracks were NOT that bad i.e. you would have to be scuffling along to actually trip because of it.

I dunno - seemed on the fagasi side to me.

Anonymous said...

It tears up sidewalks when people cement right up to its trunk. It breaks water and sewer pipes only when it is starving for a drink of water. It wants to live and can't pick up and move somewhere else. People with trees must start seeing trees not as an objects like a utility pole, but as a living family member like pet fish. We all need the trees, give them a larger sidewalk opening and water them in hot weather, a couple of food sticks and that tree will be very well behaved. It works.

Babs said...

I LIKE your post -

you're right - give the tree a little TLC.

I have 4 street trees that are gorgeous - the city planted them to replace 3 older beloved maple trees that unfortunately were killed by an underground gas leak. I asked for trees - a year later I got 'em. I consider them part of my garden.

Anonymous said...

Call Lewandowski from Queens, she'll take care of this situation.