I have been reading in the local papers about this outrageous act by the state Department of Transportation (DOT), which is working on a major road project in the area.
Arborist Carsten Glaeser has been cited in these articles decrying the wanton slaughter of these trees and of the negative effect it will have on the nearby residents.
Mr. Glaeser is a well-known tree expert, and has been alerting the public for years of the importance of trees to our urban communities and keeping us healthy.
Many of the trees were huge mature trees that had been there for decades. In these articles, the state DOT promised to replant once their project is complete.
The agency does not seem to realize that mature trees are capable of cleaning the air much more effectively than smaller trees. Smaller trees will take decades before they can do the job that a mature tree can do.
The canopy formed by mature trees is priceless to our city and its inhabitants and should be cherished. All too often, trees are destroyed because they are treated as obstacles and hindrances.
Healthy specimens are frequently removed in all neighborhoods, usually because they are a “bother” or “in the way”.
I feel very sorry for the residents in the immediate area of the Kew Gardens interchange. They will be breathing in less clean air for decades. They will be experiencing increased noise levels day and night because the buffer that the trees provided is no longer there.
Who knows what effect this will all have on the health of these people? Only time will tell.
Henry Euler is a resident of Bayside.