Ray and Ann Rombone of Douglaston, Queens show refreshing common sense. When a large part of a 600-year-old oak on their property fell off, damaged their home, and showed the celebrated old tree to be fatally damaged by dry rot, they agreed to have the damned thing cut down. As you might imagine, some namby-pambies, such as the co-founder of the Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society, cluck their tongues about what a shame it is, that the noble oak is an institution worth trying to save, etc. But time and time and time and time again, some tree sentimentally left standing has dropped big limbs or fallen, resulting in damage to property and people. The press briefly noticed when a tree branch in Central Park seriously injured a Google employee, but so far as we know, we’re the only ones consistently agitating for, as it were, root-and-branch reform of the Parks Department’s approach to suspicious trees. They’re not people, they don’t have civil rights — if they present a danger to property or human life, cut them down. A city that goes out of its way to warn children about hot playground slides should be able to do that much.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009