I got a chance to more closely examine the old Black Locust tree on 7th Street that caught fire on Saturday. I’m pointing the camera down into the trunk. It is in worse shape than I thought. I hope the arborists will leave the burned hulk as a monument and shelter for the squirrels, and it is possible that it may sprout again in Spring. But the structure is compromised enough that the large upright branch should be removed for safety reasons.
Wanting to know about this tree was one of the reasons I started my tree identification map of Tompkins Square Park. The prevalent story I have heard about this tree is that it is one of the few trees surviving from before the 1860′s when the park was cleared of trees to create a parade ground for the militia during the Civil War. The other survivors are the Black Locust on Avenue B near 7th Street, and three large Sycamores, also on the perimeter.
I saw the news about a tree burning in Tompkins Square Park last night on EV Grieve. When I saw the photos I knew it was this great old gnarled Black Locust tree on 7th Street. I think the fire department caught the flames before they could kill this magnificent relic, and luxurious home for many squirrels. My guess is that some fool threw a cigarette into the hollow of the tree, and leaves or other flammable debris caught fire. The inner parts of trees are not alive, the life is in the outer layer, just beneath the bark. So I have hope that this tree, that revived itself with sprouts after being severely chopped several years ago, will survive. Here’s hoping that the arborists will let it stand.
My pal, Libone Redding was a Lower East Side neighbor in the 1990′s. He’s a travelling musician who can’t find a free parking space in the city anymore.
A free play in Tompkins Square Park from Theater for the New City about cleaning up the mess made by Hurricane Sandy.
A garland, attached by devotees, to the Hare Krishna Tree in Tompkins Square Park.
Sirens and pirates clash in Tompkins Square Park. The Pirates added the dramatic tension. The Sirens sang “go to sleep little baby, go to sleep little baby, go lay your bones on the alabaster stones and be my everloving baby” and the Pirates went right to sleep.
The unveiling of the 6th Portal on Avenue A.
Seductive dancing singing Sirens.
Times-Up provided the pirates. The 5th Portal shown behind him was stolen, this is a printed replacement (which was also stolen the next day). Boxcutter Design printed the replacement shown.
A large branch cracked off an American Elm in Tompkins Square Park on Friday around 4 in the afternoon. That bench is normally occupied by people seeking the shade provided by that elm at that hour.
A black squirrel sits on the spot where the branch was once attached. You can see one of the pitiful small metal straps that were screwed into the branch to keep it from falling. They obviously did nothing. The day was still, with very little wind at all.
Removing the branch was tricky business. Check the video above.
I asked one of the arborists about the tree. He said that it was unlikely to survive such a wound.