All the leaves are brown — but the gray cement is finally gone.
Nearly three weeks after maintenance crews buried two juniper trees alive in cement in Brooklyn Heights, work crews hammered away and finally removed the arboreal prison cell.
“They just sent me over here and said I have to save the trees,” said one worker. “We have soil underneath there and mulch on top. We think they will be OK.”
It didn’t always appear so.
Earlier this month, different workers covered over the roots with cement, drawing immediate outrage from local activists. A building manager said at the time that the mob-like tree hit was all a “misunderstanding” and would soon be fixed, but the trees were still partially buried on Wednesday, dying by the day.
“We’re trying our best to resolve it, so it should be done soon,” the property manager for the 222 Hicks St. building — known as Brooklyn Heights Executive Suites — said on Wednesday.
City arborists visited the trees before they were finally freed, and determined that they could survive if they were properly attended to.
“We think that they will survive, provided that the concrete was removed with care,” said Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson.
But the whole mess was a disaster, said Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Judy Stanton, who fought for the trees since she discovered their plight in early August.
“I’m amazed we didn’t lose the trees because it seemed to take forever before the building reacted,” Stanton said.