Thursday, April 12, 2012

82 Trees Removed For Police Academy In Queens

A stump remains in one of more than 30 fenced off spots on College Point Boulevard where trees were cut down for the building of a Police academy. Eighty-two trees were removed and an astonishing 79 were in "poor health or dead," according to the Parks Department. (Photos: Christina Santucci via Times Ledger)


Residents were horrified after the city cut down 32 trees along a College Point street last week as part of the work on the new police academy, according to Times Ledger.

More than 30 trees abutting the College Point Police Academy were chopped down by the city last week as part of the ongoing construction project. A resident in the area who witnessed the arborcide was shocked when she saw crews dismembering the trunks.

The street trees stood in sidewalk beds along 28th Avenue between College Point Boulevard and Ulmer Street, on the north border of the College Point Police A

cademy development, a $1 billion facility currently under construction.

Doris Scheer, a 50-year resident of the neighborhood, happened to drive by last Thursday and saw crews hired by the NYPD dismembering the trees before leaving a row of stumps in their wake.

“I came onto 28th Avenue, and there was a pile of limbs,” she said. “They were young trees. They were in bloom.”

The city Parks Department said some of the trees were unhealthy and needed to be cut down, although the agency could not be more specific as to the nature of the illness and how it was caused. Others were being removed specifically to make way for the development, but the NYPD will replace all the greenery with new saplings in the future, Parks said.

In total, the NYPD plans to fell 82 trees in the process of constructing the new 3-million-square-foot training facility, according to Parks, which signs off on tree removals but was not involved in planning the trimming nor hiring contractors to do the dirty work.

In this case, the NYPD hired an arborist who inspected each of the trees before they were lopped off at the base. To comply with city laws, another arborist from Parks also signed off on the removals.

All of the trees were between 3- and 6-inch diameters, and the NYPD will replace the loss of foliage with 132 new trees, according to Parks.

A stump is surrounded by patches of grass.

But Scheer, who also is a member of the College Point Civic Association, wanted to know why the NYPD had to kill the trees instead of just digging them up and planting them elsewhere, a question to which Parks did not respond by press time.

“If they were in the way, why weren’t they dug up?” she said. “That is the thing that bothered me. You could see all the little stumps.”

Wooden scaffolding designed to offer support for pliant trunks still stood around the stumps last Thursday.

The College Point pruning came days before several cherry blossom trees behind Queens Borough Hall were cut down to make way for a development project, according to Geoffrey Croft of Manhattan-based organization NYC Park Advocates. In that case of arborcide, the Borough President Helen Marshall also said some of the trees were diseased, according to Croft.

Read More:

NY 1 - April 24, 2012 - By CeFaan Kim

City will replace trees chopped in College Pt.

Times Ledger - April 6, 2012 - By Joe Anuta

Missing Trees

WPIX - April 10, 2012 - By Greg Mocker


  1. As outrageous as this is, the greater tragedy is the tiny pits the trees were planted in. And some of the pavement looks new. It would be so great if people could be educated to understand that the volume of good soil rooting area is directly related to how big the tree gets. These trees were likely to spend their lives as stunted lollipops. When there is adequate sidewalk space, PLEASE make those pits much bigger. Maybe the replacement trees can have a better home. Here is a link to the technical details:

  2. Thats all you ever hear when trees in residential areas are taken down in multiple amounts, construction and business.. Where exactly did they plant the trees?

    -Oscar Valencia