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 (andrew@afinecompany.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).


  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.


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