If a tree falls in Carroll Gardens, will anybody pick it up?
That’s what residents are asking more than four months after two massive, century-old trees in Carroll Park came crashing down during Hurricane Sandy.
Workers hacked off the limbs of the giant arbors, but the uprooted trunks have remained in place since October — one crushing a cast-iron park fence and partially blocking the sidewalk outside the greenspace, and the other laying across the popular-but-now-off-limits rock garden.
Carroll Gardens residents say they are thankful the super storm largely spared their neighborhood, and understand that tree trunk removal wasn’t a top priority immediately after the hurricane — but now they say it’s about time for the trees to get the Buscemi treatment.
“At first I thought that there were bigger things that had to be taken care of, but now that so much time has passed it’s really puzzling that nothing has been done,” said Cara Drury of President Street, who frequents the park with her two young sons. “It’s just a constant reminder of what happened.”
Some Carroll Gardens parents say they avoid walking past the mighty tree trunk that leans partly over the Carroll Street sidewalk to prevent their small children from getting hurt or running into the protruding hardwood.
“I fear if my children are on their scooters, so I cut left through the park or walk on the other sidewalk,” said Carroll Street mom Virginie Smith.
The Parks Department said a contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — the agency tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with assisting in recovery efforts — will remove the toppled trees soon.
“We expect this work to begin within the next few weeks,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that the tree stumps do not pose a public danger or a health hazard, so their removal was not deemed urgent.
“The first priority with the trees is to get them off the power lines and out of the right of way. While the stumps need to be removed they don’t have as high of a priority as the boardwalks or the debris removal after the demolition of a house,” said Marilyn Phipps, a spokeswoman for the agency.
But park-goers fear the tree on the border of the green space is a real risk because it could squash the fence completely and come crashing to the sidewalk.
“One day it’ll fall and maybe crush a dog,” said Mark Daponte of Fourth Place. “They should pick it up as soon as possible — it’s an eyesore.”
When the time comes, workers will haul the toppled trees to Floyd Bennett Field to be chipped and turned into mulch, officials say.Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@
©2013 Community News Group
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