New York’s Rotten Tree Menace Claims Another Victim in Central Park


Didn’t we warn you about the trees? In 2007 we saw them crush cars in Brooklyn. Last summer, after a series of arboreal assaults, a tree on NYC Transit property severely conked a woman in Queens — and the hits just kept a-comin’. In September a tree smashed a windshield, injuring a driver. In December a tree-fall in Central Park injured no one but raised, as we like to say in this business, questions.

Now the trees have claimed another victim. Maybe now the city will pay attention, because he works for Google.

Yesterday 33-year-old Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, Ph.D (pictured), a husband and father of two kids, was walking through Central Park when a rotted limb from an oak tree dropped twenty feet and knocked him into a coma. He remains in critical condition, on a ventilator because the branch damaged his lung, too. (Update: He’s doing a little better now.) A Park Department employee’s reaction: the tree was sound and our recent weird weather had nothing to do with it, but the branch “was rotted out and it was liable to fall, and, unfortunately, it did.”

This is the sort of thing that destroyed Bush’s reputation after Katrina. It seems we’re supposed to accept falling trees and tree parts as we were once told to accept muggings and squeegee men. To hell with tree-huggers who would defend even potentially homicidal flora from modification or even, in the extreme cases, preemptive execution. Doesn’t the Parks Department have experts and chain saws?