Thursday, May 15, 2008

Union Square Tree Carnage..And Offer To Preserve History

No matter what side of the Union Square renovation debate you are on, there is no doubt that seeing and hearing a 50', 80 year old Siberian Elm cut down is awfully sad. That's exactly what has happened at Union Square this morning. A small crowd gathered spontaneously to watch the spectacle. That's one beautiful tree down and 13 to go (some a bit less glorious). From the few vague renderings that I have seen, Union Square will probably net trees from the makeover, but there is no replacing 80 year old trees.

I have managed to secure a 7' long branch of the tree which could probably produce 15 or so saplings. So, if anyone is interested in preserving history and giving a 2nd life to this beauty, email me ( and we'll make arrangements. You might want to do this soon, since I have no idea how to root a sapling (gardening tips accepted).


  1. This is so sad -- and is very touching that you would go to the trouble of sharing this information with everyone.

    I feel a special attachment to Union Square because, when I was a baby (in the 1940s!), it was my 'back-yard' -- My parents lived in a loft (no doubt illegal) on 17th Street, half-a-block away; our upstairs neighbors were John Cage & Merce Cunningham; I'm sure this 80-yr old Siberian elm was shading me on hot summer days, just as it has many other generations of kids since then. . .

  2. Siberian Elms typically only have a 60 year lifespan in temperate climates.. but 100-150 in their native areas. So it may have been past it's prime anyway. Still a loss in such an urban area though.