According to a member of the East Fifth St. Block Association Tree Committee, the group hired (at a cost of $500) an arborist who pruned the tree — with the approval of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation... "cutting off worrisome branches to maintain safety."
Several weeks later this past Thursday, "a crew from the Parks Department arrived early in the morning and chopped the tree down before anyone was up to notice," a tree committee rep told us.
"As it is, the Parks Department has turned the previously lush old trees on Fifth Street — watered, fertilized and tended to by our tree committee — between Cooper Square and First Avenue into grotesque Edward Gorey-like silhouettes by their over pruning. We are devastated," the committee member said. "Our arborist told us that weakens the trees and will shorten their life span."
The city hasn't shown much passion or sympathy for local trees in recent months.
Photo courtesy of the East Fifth St. Block Association Tree Committee