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 (email@example.com) 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).