- Everyone thinks of New York as made of steel, glass and concrete. If you try to add Trees to that mix, people would look at you querulously. Except for the center of the city, from 42nd to 59th Streets, from Park to Eighth Avenues, you’ll find trees.
But, I thinik, the trees pay some kind of price. The plot of ground into which they’re planted is dressed wholly by the owner of the buildings they grace. Let’s take a look at the cages that are built for trees in the city of concrete, glass and steel.
This is a picture of my block taken this week. You can see how lush
it appears to be, and we have to go in closer to see the planters.
They’re only fenced in on the pedestrian’s side of the fence.
But you can see the new growth coming up alongside the tree.
(I think it likes the soil to stretch its roots. I wonder how it deals
with the cigarette butts. Smokers have found a convenient ash tray.)
This is the course the City has taken near Madison Square Park.
They’ve cut into the 23rd Street traffic by constructing a place for
pedestrians to sit – in the middle of traffic. The City tries to make it
habitable by adding plenty of foliage planted in planters that can be moved.
One wonders if the City had regulated what could be constructed about the edges of the trees. Would that have a better designed fencing for the trees? Would that actually be worse, in that there IS the chance that a building owner will do well by the tree? I can’t answer; I can just see what’s there – a grab-bag of fenestration designed to prevent urinating animals away from the trees. But they’re not always the best. I look, again, at what’s outside my building. (#2) The hole left by the City’s planters hasn’t been touched by my building’s owners. Let me say it seems serviceable as compared to the grill in the Village. (#25-26)
In the end, I have to say that I’m just glad to have the tree. Especially at this time of year.
* Steve Fisher also sent this link to the regulations on such plots for trees on the books for NYC.