Trees chain sawed - cement follows – QNS.com

Trees chain sawed - cement follows

About a dozen men armed with chainsaws cut down one of the oldest trees in Flushing, a 150-year-old pin oak, within a matter of hours, according to Roland G. Wade, President at the Voelker Orth Museum in Flushing. The tree, which towered an estimated five stories in height and had a four-foot diameter was chopped down into a pile of mulch approximately two weeks ago.
The pin oak, which had been the largest tree in north Flushing, Wade said, was only one of several leafy specimens to be chopped recently to make room for paved front yards and more buildings.
&#8220As a professional horticulturist of 50 years, today is one of saddest days in my life,” Wade wrote in a letter to The Queens Courier after witnessing the removal. &#8220The owner of the house told me that he believed this healthy pin oak endangered the safety of his home. This tree, which had withstood several hurricanes, posed no more danger than any tree nearby any home.”
Wade said that during the past three weeks, other historic trees were also cut down including a gingko off Cherry Avenue, a cooper beech on Parsons Boulevard, a huge pin oak on Sanford Avenue, and a katsura tree in the residential area of Waldheim.
About two years ago, a huge Mulberry tree was chopped from its century-long home at the corner of Kissena Boulevard and Sanford Avenue. Now only the three-foot stump remains, but no new trees have been planted in the grassy plot.
The ante-bellum trees had been remnants of the historic Prince and Parsons nurseries - the Prince nursery, founded in 1737, was the oldest nursery in the country.
In addition, the removal of trees in Flushing decreases the green canopy over the area, which shades the streets and keeps the temperature 15 to 20 degrees lower than un-shaded areas.
&#8220When the trees transpire, evaporation is a cooling process … They help to conserve the water table and prevent erosion. Trees have so many benefits,” Wade said.
&#8220We should have a covenant that protects our trees,” Wade said, pointing to the protection of trees in Forest Hills Gardens and in the green belt that stretches across Queens.
Wade said that he is also worried home owners will chop down a tulip tree - now the tallest tree in the north Flushing area — located in a private yard nearby the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and 151st Street.
&#8220It's a precarious situation. I don't know if [the property owners] even know what they have,” he said.

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