Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This tree does not need to come down

Everyone on my street is horrified by the city of Buffalo's plans to take down this beautiful old silver maple. It is an easeway tree, so it technically belongs to the city, but the owners of the blue house behind it, Michael and Susan, have offered to pay for the trimming it certainly needs. Michael and Susan have also asked to look at the file that contains the report from the authority that sealed its fate—no luck either way.

When federal money comes into town—as it did after the October storm that damaged this and many other trees—people who have been civil servants and politicians too long might look at the largess not as an opportunity to do civic good, but as a gravy train with room on it for everyone who's done them a favor or can do them a favor. Hence, lots of trees are coming down, at least in part because it's a payday for lots of politically connected people.

This is a rant, mainly, but I also am inviting any readers who are willing to email Dan Kreuz, the Director of Public Works, to advocate for the tree in front of 35 North Pearl. Seriously. I'm circulating this all I can within local networks, of course, but what the heck, many of you are experts and maybe it would do good. dkreuz@city-buffalo.com Or, if you like, call him: 716-851-5636.

Even if not, it's a tree worth ranting about.


Wayne Stratz said...

my heart goes out to your neighbors and yourself. I can imagine the emotional hit they took upon seeing the sign. what a thing to come home to. even if they found out by letter first, still an awful thing to come home to find.

firefly said...

I wrote (e-mailed). Reminded the man of trees' beneficial effects on air quality and heat islands in cities, which can't be replicated by anything else. Mentioned that Portland had replaced lost trees from the Patriot's Day storm (not that kind of patriotism -- think Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin, etc.) and that I hoped the city of Buffalo would also take the intelligent course.

I hope adding one letter to the weight of correspondence helps. Sometimes city governments are unbelievably stubborn.

EAL said...

Thanks so much!!!

chuck b. said...

I'm shocked (outraged) your city won't show anyone the report. Who do they think they are?

Demand it!

New York State has strong Freedom of Information laws.


EAL said...

I--sort of--got the report. But it's not satisfactory and I'm still on this.

I have a feeling the tree will come down. I can't sue the city of Buffalo over one tree--I have done so over major buildings. And won.

We'll see.

Thanks for your support!

Lois J. de Vries said...

They HAVE TO provide you with the report. It is a public document and is covered by OPRA, the Open Public Documents Act. They have to reply in seven to ten days (I forget which). For more info on trees, link to my blog: http//www.loisdevries.blogspot.com

Gotta Garden said...

I hesitate to say anything....please know I don't mean to offend. If the homeowners want it, I would be all for them having it. However, if it has to be maintained by the city, I can understand why they might not want to. Our local extension agent (an arborist) conducts tree walks (fun and informative) and always points out the Silver Maples as being weak wooded and not a tree you would choose to plant. The first time I heard this, I cringed, because guess who planted one. I confess, I didn't know any better and thought a maple row (three different) would be nice. Like a lot of things, it didn't turn out like I had hoped, but that silver maple still survives! It is messy, but then it's certainly not the only tree that is...and hey, it's held up better than the Bradford Pears!