City in limb-o over dead Ditmas Park tree, residents claim

City in limb-o over dead Ditmas Park tree, residents claim
Ditmas Park’s Bob Pandolfo says he’s worried about this white birch tree on Argyle Road that’s been bare for months.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

A sickly-looking white birch in Ditmas Park is a disaster waiting to strike unsuspecting pedestrians, claim outraged residents who want the city to tear the dying tree out of the ground before it keels over.

Bob Pandolfo, co-president of the Beverly Square West Neighborhood Association, says he’s called 311 twice about the leafless hardwood on Argyle Road between Albemarle and Beverly roads, only to be told that the city made an inspection and found nothing wrong with the tree.

“If it’s a dead tree, it should be taken down,” said Pandolfo. “I know people who have been hit by large falling branches.”

The citizen tree pruner said he’s kept an eye on the lackluster timber while taking his dog out for daily walks.

“Other white birches are fully leafed out, but this guy has no leaves,” Pandolfo said.

A slew of budget cuts have raised questions about the city’s effectiveness in caring for its 2.5 million trees, although it was recently forced to increase funding for the Parks Department following several costly lawsuits on behalf of victims injured or killed by falling branches and limbs on trees previously identified by the city as being problematic.

It’s not the first time Ditmas Park residents have lashed out against the Parks Department in their neck of the woods.

In March the city removed 24 beech trees it planted on Stratford Road after neighbors complained they were at odds with the area’s historical design. Then in June, the city yanked a pair of locust trees from outside a clothing store on Church Avenue despite residents’ protests.

Pandolfo said he was alarmed that the city would haul off healthy trees, but leave a rotting one in place.

Calls to the Parks Department were not returned.

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