Boughed to pressure: Con Ed removes new utility pole after tree-lover’s outcry

Boughed to pressure: Con Ed removes new utility pole after tree-lover’s outcry
Photo by Steve Schnibbe

She planted the seed of doubt.

A Marine Parker’s passionate plea got Con Edison workers to move a utility pole from a tree bed in front of her house just three days after the electrical company planted it. Workers installed the pole on Feb. 29, damaging the woman’s beloved Linden tree in the process, she said.

“I religiously cared for that street tree and it’s in front of my house,” E. 33rd Street resident Robin Marion said on March 1. “I came home and I found out that Con Edison planted a big pole in the street and cut apart my little tree and I’m just so upset.”

Marion took a class with the Parks Department to become a “tree steward” and got the city’s Million Trees Project to plant the Linden tree in front of her home near Quentin Road about three years ago, she said.

Con Ed was just going about its typical business of replacing worn-down wooden poles in the area to stand up to seasonal heavy rains and strong winds, but workers broke one of the young tree’s limbs in the process.

Marion was so visibly distraught by the solid wooden pole cutting through her Linden tree’s home that the Con Ed workers agreed to move it, a supervisor said.

“I understand why she was upset — she’s real passionate about her trees,” said Jason Gorman of Con Ed. “It will be moved for her.”

The arboreal caretaker sat outside nearly all day on March 1, from 6:30 am into the afternoon, just to see if Con Ed would make good on its promise to remove the pole, she said.

“I’ve been sitting out here since 6:30 am, went to the bathroom once and ate a banana,” Marion said around noon that day.

All Marion wants now is for her tree to survive its near brush with death, once Con Ed removes the pole, she said.

“It grew up a lot. It was little and I took care of it and I was so upset. I loved that tree. I just hope that if they remove the pole, I can nurse it back to health,” she said.

Workers removed the pole on March 2.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Tree warrior: Robin Marion, a tree steward from Marine Park, pleaded with Con Edison workers to remove a pole it placed in a tree bed outside of her house.
Photo by Steve Schnibbe