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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

      Showing posts with label damage. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label damage. Show all posts

      Thursday, December 9, 2010


      In spring my view looks like this. Fall 2010 it looked like this, with a firethorn in berry, and small trees and vines sporting their autumn colors.It's my borrowed scenery, the view from my office, living room and bedroom windows. I love to see how the across-the-street gardeners are progressing. I know not their names, but their smoking and coffee drinking habits as they emerge onto their terraces in early morning.
      An avid reader of Garden Bytes, BBP, alerted me. Although I was well aware when the scaffolding went up, when the cranes and ladders arrived on the 18th floor terraces across the street, I didn't connect all that to losing my borrowed scenery. But as BBP pointed out, all the plants were gone.I go away for one day and all the plants and containers on the 16th floor are missing; the crew is now working to clear the terrace on #17.Down, down, down in a cart on a flimsy pulley ......... to the dumpster below. So you fans of dumpster diving, who knows what garden treasures you'll find if you can just wiggle under the tarp that covers the dumpster at night. (double click on image above to see some of the treasures you're missing)SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE GARDEN PROBLEMS?
      Today four men in hoodies are ripping out decking and repairing leaks on the terrace, then will re-surface. Come spring will I have new borrowed scenery to enjoy? Is the co-op owner responsible for totally redoing the garden on the terrace?

      Monday, August 24, 2009


      Last Tuesday a major wind and thunderstorm hit Manhattan, leaving dreadful tree damage in Central Park, parts of Randall’s Island and Harlem's Thomas Jefferson park. By Wednesday morning the NY Times reported more the 100 trees down in Central Park, most in the Northern third. Thursday morning after the Parks Department did a quick survey I got a group email from Douglas Blonsky the President of the Central Park Conservancy asking for donations. Restoration and repair estimates were projected at over $500,000, with millions more in lost value of trees and wildlife habitat. Blonsky reported over two hundred trees down, plus hundreds more damaged and possibly needing removal.On Sunday, morning I went out to see for myself. Workers had already dragged trees blocking roadways off to the side and had started removing hanging limbs; other areas were marked by yellow danger tape. A horse chestnut tree obstructed the path I wanted to take.
      People were using the
      park as they always did.
      Runners on the East
      Road focused straight
      ahead, seeming oblivious
      to the damage. Dogs
      walked and peed, sniff-
      ing new scents. Walkers,
      readers, picnicers, and
      soccer players continued
      with their activities.
      According to the last
      tree census in Central
      Park in 2008 there were
      26,000 trees. Now one
      to two percent are gone.
      The Conservancy
      announced that they’ll
      rush to replace as many
      of the fallen trees as
      possible to prevent inva-
      sive species like Norway
      maples and Japanese
      knotweed from taking over.
      The 70 mph winds didn’t
      seem to discriminate
      between Tulip Trees,
      Hickory, American Elm,
      Sweet Gum, Sycamores,
      and Horse chestnuts.
      History of past loves will
      disappear as well.
      Double-click on this pic-
      ture to enlarge, and
      check the date 1918 on
      the trunk.
      The NY Times reports
      that the wood cannot
      be used for either lum-
      ber or firewood because
      of Asian Longhorn Beetle
      restrictions, but it will
      be shredded and shipped
      to landfills. I don’t quite
      get why that will be better.For the most part, The Conservatory Garden at E. 105th street seemed unscathed, though several damaged trees towering high over the Western edges of the garden, made the wisteria pergola unsafe and off limits. See damage near the top and center of the image.
      To get more information and to donate to the Central Park Conservancy go to:
      This Crape Myrtle was oblivious to the death and destruction beyond the garden.

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