Mr. Lawrence McClean:
On Monday, August 29, 2011, the day after Tropical Storm Irene left many roads in Bellerose and Floral Park completely blocked (and as of this writing, many roads are still impassable), an irate neighbor visited me to complain about the intentional cutting down of three city trees at the curb on the north side of Hillside Ave., between 256 and 257 St. in Floral Park. I visited the site and took the photos which are below.
My observation was of three apparently healthy city trees with no leaves, branches or other debris around the trees except for sawdust at the base of each tree, just feet below where the trees were intentionally cut by a saw. There was no apparent evidence of any loose or damaged branches or uprooting that might have made these trees a danger to pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
Two of the trees are in front of a super market at 256-09 Hillside Ave., obviously partially blocking the name and window signs. Large ads were placed in every window by the former owner of the Fine Fare supermarket. A sign in the store windows now indicates: "BALAJISUER BAZAAR COMING SOON".
The third tree is close by, in front of 256-15 Hillside Ave., Friendly Realty & Mgmt.
I am not currently aware of any eyewitnesses to this destruction of New York City property.
Since the intentional damaging of city trees is a criminal act, the community deserves an immediate investigation by the Parks Dept., even before the trees are removed, in case there is ever a prosecution. And the removal of the stumps and replacement of the trees should be a priority, especially since the Mayor is still looking for spaces for the million trees he is having planted. Ideally it should be at the expense of the perpetrators and not taxpayers.
As District Manager of CB13Q, please communicate with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and/or the NYPD if deemed appropriate, and request an immediate investigation of this apparent criminal act along with a speedy replacement of these trees.
I expect to hear from you on this matter.
Member, CB13 Parks Committee
In light of the recent attack on trees mentioned below - A Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces Press conference is scheduled for Thursday, Sept 1 at 4 PM at 256-09 Hillside Avenue. We need to put pressure on people to give up the people who cut down trees - the three trees are valued at over $11,000.00 and are assets of the community. And its not just about the money - we are all trying to green up Queens and the rest of the city and some idiot decides to cut down trees. Can you imagine losing three healthy street trees in your neighborhood? Come and help us get the message out - Don't Mess with our Street Trees - Killers Beware.
The Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces is offering a reward of $200 for info leading to the arrest of those responsible for the cutting down of 3 City Street Trees on the 256 block of Hillside Avenue. There is no excuse for the execution of these trees and I hope others will join us in offering a reward and or providing information. Pictures taken clearly show that the trees were cut about 80% and the culprits hoped that is would be blamed on Irene. I am sickened by some self serving person would have the gall to intentionally harm street trees while we are all working to plant and save them. We have also heard of similar problems in Flushing. This has got to and will stop with help from the neighborhood.
PEP is investigating, but this is your neighborhood, so we all need to be pro-active, otherwise others will see that they can get away with it and do the same. Image dozens of our street trees being cut down? I will not and can not allow this and I will not sit back and wait for more arboricide to happen. Will you join me in hunting down the scum that did this?
Queens Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces
PS: IF anyone would like to contribute to the REWARD it would probably increase the odds of us getting the parties responsible for this.