This Elm was cut down in 2003 and I shot these photos then. It may have been afflicted with Dutch Elm Disease. Some neighbor nailed wooden tags to the rings giving radical perspectives on local and national history starting in 1931. It looks like the tree was a few years older than that. The stump is no longer there, the tags lasted a few months. The tree was near the corner of 10th Street and Avenue B. No tree has grown there since.
I was inspired to dig these photos out of my archives by the initiation of the online interactive map for my Tompkins Square Park Tree Identification Project. This project is rolling out slowly, I have thousands of photos to edit and add.
I shot these photos in 2003 with my cheap first digital camera and have enhanced the tags for legibility. The 1981 tag refers to the discovery of AIDS. The 1988 tag has police riot scratched out and replaced with “dirty animal.” The 1989 tag mentions Dinkinsville though David Dinkins wasn’t Mayor until 1990.