Thursday, February 24, 2022

So long to this sycamore tree on 9th Street

Photos by Steven 

Workers today cut down this sycamore tree on the north side of Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second. 

It was not immediately clear what prompted this removal...
... a worker pointed out a deteriorating and spongy area of the stump...
EVG reader Terry Howell shared this photo...
He writes: 
This lovely sycamore tree and I coexisted peacefully on this block for over 47 years. I don't remember it ever being small. I have no clue why the city choose to murder it today. They will probably say "it's too old," unsafe, etc., etc., etc. My feeling is that Amazon probably needs its own loading space, another restaurant shed needs to be built, a branch might injure a CAR! or it's just inconveniently in the way. I, being old like the sycamore, hope I live long enough to see its spindly replacement sapling, which the city will plant and then ignore. 
Yesterday, city workers also removed a tree on 10th Street just west of First Avenue...
Updated 12:30

The remains of the sycamore after the workers left... 


  1. We lost a nice business here and now a gorgeous tree. SO depressed.

  2. I asked the Parks Dept. guys why it was coming down and they told me the back was rotten and it was unstable. So incredibly sad. (I always thought it was a plane tree, not a sycamore).

  3. There was some debate whether this was a London Plane/Planetree or Sycamore...

  4. There’s a story that some 50 years or so ago, Gary Ross, legendary landlord of 315, 317, and 323 East 9th St. planted 3 plane trees, one in front of each building. The one in front of 323 was taken down in 2014, the one in front of 315 a few years before that and this was the last one left. Gary’s office was in the storefront that housed Verameat. There were wild times both in that office and on the block. For those of us who were his tenants and are still here, the loss of the last tree really puts an end to a certain era of history for East 9th St. But boy, do we have some great stories to tell!

    1. Kelly_32423@msn.comFebruary 24, 2022 at 9:36 PM

      I think your memory rings true. I've been on the block since 1966 and the trees were just saplings. Gary was my landlord until the early 90s, and boy did he love to chat and hold court in his storefront!

  5. Good more spots for citibike docking stations

  6. odd coincidence just after verameat closes?

  7. Carol from East 5th StreetFebruary 24, 2022 at 11:15 PM

    NYC Parks Department is too aggressive with cutting down and pruning trees. So many of the trees on our block are macabre silhouettes after aggressive pruning. And they are very slow to replace removed trees.

  8. [sarcasm]That must explain why they're taking down all 991 trees in East River Park, but I'm surprised they all chose the same time to rot…[/sarcasm]

  9. Another stump to carve

  10. Good Bye Dear Tree

  11. They took one down on 6th Street, in addition to the one by DiBlasio Spiderhole.

    These tress will not be replanted by current politicians unless they get some kind of Arbor Day payoff.

  12. Disgusting ongoing decimation of our neighborhood trees. East River Park looks like a bomb site. This tree looked fine; it was probably damaged on an ongoing basis in that small area by a truck or car, since these trees are inadequately protected. I'd love to know who's making money off destroying these tress, how that decision gets made, and who signs-off on it. I never see a permit when this is occurring. That would make a good an enlightening article. The attitude toward cutting down old trees is very cavalier. There should bea publicly open process for proposing to cut these magnificent trees.

  13. I don't know if this tree needed to be cut down or not, but falling trees can injure or kill pedestrians & cyclists too, not just cars.

    From a 2012 NYTimes article:

    "Alexis Handwerker had been sitting on a bench beneath a towering elm in Stuyvesant Square Park in Manhattan — now she was pinned to the ground, bleeding, disoriented and smothered by leaves. One arm was rammed back unnaturally, broken. Panicked parkgoers struggled to free her from a huge tree limb that had plummeted 30 feet."

    "in the five years ending in 2011, 51 people were injured, including two who were killed, on New York City streets and in parks."

    As much as I don't like cars, that doesn't mean everything is done on behalf of the almighty car.

  14. Yes. Gary Ross told me he planted the trees. The sycamore was in front of my apartment. It was sick. My neighbor Judy had a tree doctor look at it but it was hopeless. It had a disease caused by lack of enough wind. The other tree towards 1st avenue was killed when it was hit by the top of a delivery truck driven by three men that hit the windshield hard. I heard the crash and saw the cracked windshield and the top of the truck was shorn off. The reason they hit the tree was because it was leaning toward the street just like my tree was. Very little of the tree was green last year and it was a hazard and eventually would also have taken the top off of any delivery truck that got too close to the right-hand side. I hope they plant a new tree soon and I'm going to call the city to make sure a tree has been requested. RIP my tree.


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