This is the classic battle in urban areas between community and commercial interests. Trees in the park are clearly for public enjoyment and comfortability, but these ones (which were BEAUTIFUL by the way) are blocking a commercial sign. How the sign company was able to get a permit from the city to cut down the city’s own trees for their benefit is actually quite impressive, but at the end of the day of course the community loses.
And this is not the only arboricide happening in LIC. From the same link, regarding Queens Plaza:
All the newly planted trees were full with leaves and the place was transformed. But the NYC Parks Department seems to have forgetten that new and large transplanted trees need regular watering. Over 25 trees as tall as 16 feet were counted with crispy, dead leaves and this is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars for a Department that must know better. Each tree costs several thousand dollars and it doesn’t matter even if the contractor is required to replace any dead trees. Taxpayers will pay for it next time as just a cost of doing business.