bobdebird:

This is how you slow-kill a tree. Photo by K. McCalpin from team @treesatlanta #tree #bikelock #treedomproject

Ouch.

Now the snow has all melted away, the forgotten locks of 2013 are on full display.

SPOTTED: East Village, New York City

The nice lady who reported this tree also happens to be a NYC Citizen Tree Pruner.

WHAT MAKES A TREE GUARD, GREAT?
Some nice looking tree guards went up recently at a construction site on the corner of Olive and Orient in Williamsburg. These tree guards stood out next to a lot of the tree guards I see for a couple of reasons. This brings up the question: “what makes a tree guard, great?” Let’s discuss. 
These particular tree guard specimens are excellent for three reasons. First of all, structurally, they provide a tall and sturdy frame for the trees that will guard the trunks from construction crews, vehicles, tools, and other heavy machinery that enter and exit the site. They are going to build a high- occupancy, luxurious, fancy-pants building on this site that will undoubtedly see its fair share of earth movers, bull dozers, dump trucks, cement mixers, supply semis, in addition to other diesel-fueled engines (with the tendency to idle) pass through the main gates. Secondly, the durable plastic webbing will help prevent trash from entering the tree pits. This is beneficial to maintaining healthy root systems. Construction sites are notorious for being dumps full of trash. I am very pleased to see the builders took this in to consideration when guarding the trees. This level of precaution covers what the frames do not and I am darn relieved to see them as part of the guards. Lastly, look closely and you’ll notice the webbing is bright cautionary orange. This serves as a visual alert and reminder. It’s says: “HEY IM OVER HERE AND IMPORTANT, DO NOT MESS WITH ME!” I suspect the orange might fade over time depending on the length of the project, but its good to see the precedent being set. 
I believe this three-step approach will be effective. I will continue to keep tabs on the guards and health of the trees. One thing is for sure, the trees will provide fresh air and a break from the wind this building season. - Rob Birdsong WHAT MAKES A TREE GUARD, GREAT?
Some nice looking tree guards went up recently at a construction site on the corner of Olive and Orient in Williamsburg. These tree guards stood out next to a lot of the tree guards I see for a couple of reasons. This brings up the question: “what makes a tree guard, great?” Let’s discuss. 
These particular tree guard specimens are excellent for three reasons. First of all, structurally, they provide a tall and sturdy frame for the trees that will guard the trunks from construction crews, vehicles, tools, and other heavy machinery that enter and exit the site. They are going to build a high- occupancy, luxurious, fancy-pants building on this site that will undoubtedly see its fair share of earth movers, bull dozers, dump trucks, cement mixers, supply semis, in addition to other diesel-fueled engines (with the tendency to idle) pass through the main gates. Secondly, the durable plastic webbing will help prevent trash from entering the tree pits. This is beneficial to maintaining healthy root systems. Construction sites are notorious for being dumps full of trash. I am very pleased to see the builders took this in to consideration when guarding the trees. This level of precaution covers what the frames do not and I am darn relieved to see them as part of the guards. Lastly, look closely and you’ll notice the webbing is bright cautionary orange. This serves as a visual alert and reminder. It’s says: “HEY IM OVER HERE AND IMPORTANT, DO NOT MESS WITH ME!” I suspect the orange might fade over time depending on the length of the project, but its good to see the precedent being set. 
I believe this three-step approach will be effective. I will continue to keep tabs on the guards and health of the trees. One thing is for sure, the trees will provide fresh air and a break from the wind this building season. - Rob Birdsong WHAT MAKES A TREE GUARD, GREAT?
Some nice looking tree guards went up recently at a construction site on the corner of Olive and Orient in Williamsburg. These tree guards stood out next to a lot of the tree guards I see for a couple of reasons. This brings up the question: “what makes a tree guard, great?” Let’s discuss. 
These particular tree guard specimens are excellent for three reasons. First of all, structurally, they provide a tall and sturdy frame for the trees that will guard the trunks from construction crews, vehicles, tools, and other heavy machinery that enter and exit the site. They are going to build a high- occupancy, luxurious, fancy-pants building on this site that will undoubtedly see its fair share of earth movers, bull dozers, dump trucks, cement mixers, supply semis, in addition to other diesel-fueled engines (with the tendency to idle) pass through the main gates. Secondly, the durable plastic webbing will help prevent trash from entering the tree pits. This is beneficial to maintaining healthy root systems. Construction sites are notorious for being dumps full of trash. I am very pleased to see the builders took this in to consideration when guarding the trees. This level of precaution covers what the frames do not and I am darn relieved to see them as part of the guards. Lastly, look closely and you’ll notice the webbing is bright cautionary orange. This serves as a visual alert and reminder. It’s says: “HEY IM OVER HERE AND IMPORTANT, DO NOT MESS WITH ME!” I suspect the orange might fade over time depending on the length of the project, but its good to see the precedent being set. 
I believe this three-step approach will be effective. I will continue to keep tabs on the guards and health of the trees. One thing is for sure, the trees will provide fresh air and a break from the wind this building season. - Rob Birdsong

WHAT MAKES A TREE GUARD, GREAT?

Some nice looking tree guards went up recently at a construction site on the corner of Olive and Orient in Williamsburg. These tree guards stood out next to a lot of the tree guards I see for a couple of reasons. This brings up the question: “what makes a tree guard, great?” Let’s discuss. 

These particular tree guard specimens are excellent for three reasons. First of all, structurally, they provide a tall and sturdy frame for the trees that will guard the trunks from construction crews, vehicles, tools, and other heavy machinery that enter and exit the site. They are going to build a high- occupancy, luxurious, fancy-pants building on this site that will undoubtedly see its fair share of earth movers, bull dozers, dump trucks, cement mixers, supply semis, in addition to other diesel-fueled engines (with the tendency to idle) pass through the main gates. 

Secondly, the durable plastic webbing will help prevent trash from entering the tree pits. This is beneficial to maintaining healthy root systems. Construction sites are notorious for being dumps full of trash. I am very pleased to see the builders took this in to consideration when guarding the trees. This level of precaution covers what the frames do not and I am darn relieved to see them as part of the guards. 

Lastly, look closely and you’ll notice the webbing is bright cautionary orange. This serves as a visual alert and reminder. It’s says: “HEY IM OVER HERE AND IMPORTANT, DO NOT MESS WITH ME!” I suspect the orange might fade over time depending on the length of the project, but its good to see the precedent being set.

I believe this three-step approach will be effective. I will continue to keep tabs on the guards and health of the trees. One thing is for sure, the trees will provide fresh air and a break from the wind this building season. 

- Rob Birdsong

MEET TREE HERO KIRSTEN DUCKETT

QUEENS RESIDENT KIRSTEN DUCKETT IS A TREE HERO. BELOW IS HER STORY ABOUT ENLISTING THE HELP OF A MYSTERY MAN IN A BAT MAN SHIRT TO FREE A LONDON PLANE TREE ON HER ASTORIA STREET.

image(Before)

How long had you noticed the chain around the tree?

When I moved to a new apartment in Astoria, I had a new commute and on the way to the subway station everyday, I would see a plane tree with a big chain around it. It was clear that someone had been using it as a parking spot because there was a second, padded chain through the first and both were fixed at about the height of a moped. As I passed by, I noticed that the chain was digging into the bark. It had been there a long time and it made me sad for almost a year as I passed back and forth. In the end, this story has a happy ending because a man in a Batman T-shirt helped me to free the tree!

What made you think to remove it?

The chained tree was not dead, but how long could it withstand this confinement? I suspected that the dry cleaners or the restaurant just in front of it were responsible for the chain, and I thought about asking them to remove or to loosen it so that the bark could heal and the sap could flow. As I passed by every day, I kept a watch and I never saw a vehicle attached to the chain. There were delivery vehicles next to the tree, but not attached. So whose chain was it?

Later, I was sorry that I had been so slow to talk to the personnel in the two businesses directly.  I needn’t have been nervous because they were perfectly reasonable. They didn’t know anything about how the chain got there and had no stake it its staying.  According to them, the chain had been there as long as they could remember. I told them that it was hurting the tree and that it needed to be clipped off. They gave me their blessing to do it. The dry cleaner and I had a good chat about plants and trees.

The next stop was the local hardware store where I explained the problem and asked for help in solving it. Surely they had bolt cutters. But I ran up against some resistance there. I couldn’t decide if I was unlucky or mistaken. After the second unsuccessful trip there, I decided I needed some outside support.

Had you previously heard about The Treedom Project? How did you learn about Treedom Project?

At the same time I was canvassing the neighbors, I got in touch with the Treedom Project.  In Greenpoint, I had seen a laminated sign attached to a rusty bike which was in turn attached to a tree. The sign was a notice that on a particular day, the tree would be unchained and anyone claiming the bike should take it before then. “How cool is that?” I thought, and noted down the website. I had never seen Treedom active in my neighborhood, but maybe there were sympathizers nearby. When I contacted Treedom with an address, a description and pictures, they were happy to help, but it was out of their way and it would take a few weeks to get out to Astoria. Because of personal travel plans, I was impatient to see that tree unchained so I tried again at the local hardware store.

image
(After)

How easy was it to convince the hardware store to loan you the bolt cutters? How long did it take to clip the lock? 

My approach with the hardware store was to ask for a volunteer to clip the chain.  It was a chain similar to the one I had bought from them to lock up my bike. I was told I should speak to the locksmith. I was told I should speak to a specific person who wasn’t there. The words ‘community service’ were not giving me the warm welcome I had hoped so after my second trip I tried to figure out what my budget was for paying them to walk two blocks and help undo human damage, but I would ask for pro bono assistance one more time first. Three’s the charm because on my third trip to the hardware store, the locksmith was present and in discussion with another young man, the guy wearing the Batman T-shirt. When I presented my request as cheerfully as possible, the locksmith said cautiously, ‘You want me to do it for free.’ At the same time, the customer/friend piped up, ‘If you lend me the bolt cutters, I’ll do it for free!’. My hero! Lending material pro bono was within the scope for the hardware store. Batman loped the two blocks with me the the tree and within 5 minutes, the tree was breathing easy again and the bolt cutters were returned to the store. It took two snips by a strong man. I stopped off at the deli and got the guys something cold to drink to thank them for their efforts. 

Did any passersby ask what you were doing?

My interaction with the neighbors was really talking to the shop owners in front of the tree. I did mention that do volunteer work for Parks and on my second trip I had armed myself with an outreach flyer from Million Trees NY but that was probably not even necessary as everyone was super nice. I tried to teach Batman about tree health and the role of the phloegm, but he already knew about it!

image
(Kirsten Duckett, self portrait)

- Rob Birdsong

cabinporn:

Cedar stump house, Edgecomb, Washington, ca. 1901. 

From the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections on Flickr.

Submitted by Sam Haraldson.

Having a good ole tree time, 112 years ago.  

Our First Manhattan Mission

We ventured to the Lower East Side recently to set free a young tree from a brutally placed bicycle u-lock.  This was our first mission in Manhattan and as you can see from the before-during-after photo sequence above it was a success. 

Thanks to M. Williams for identifying and sending in the tree. 

New low in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Film crews locking gear to street trees.