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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Update On Roosevelt Island Rivercross Coop Cutting Down 4 Courtyard Trees - After Consultation With Arborists, Coop Board Decides Only 1 Tree Coming Down

Reported previously on the September 19 decision by the Roosevelt Island Rivercross Coop Board of Directors to cut down 4 courtyard trees which the Board claimed to be:

... a safety danger and block the views of some apartments negatively impacting their value....
Image Of Rivercross Courtyard Trees

which led to claims of "arborcide" by some residents objecting to the removal of the trees.
... Roosevelt Island Tree Board President and Rivercross resident Ali Schwaryi sent this September 23 letter to Rivercross shareholders urging them to attend Rivercross Board of Directors meeting tonight and tell the Rivercross Directors to stop the arborcide of the 4 courtyard trees.... 
On October 8 reported:
... A packed room of Rivercross shareholders, met with the Board members last evening. The vast majority were distressed with the highhanded method used by the Board to decide quality of life matters.

After numerous comments the Board agreed to hire another arborist for an independent evaluation of the trees in question....
On November 14, based upon recommendations from consulting Arborists, the Rivercross Coop Board Of Directors decided to cut down only one of the 4 interior courtyard trees originally planned to be removed. According to this November 14 memo from the Rivercross Board to Rivercross residents:
In our last Memorandum dated October 17, we advised that three independent certified consulting arborists would be retained to examine the health and safety of the two Norway Maple trees in the Rivercross interior courtyard. Their reports are in and the following are a summary of their conclusions:

The more northerly of the trees (smaller tree) has severe "cankers, indicating dead spots combined with an extensive fungus and internal decay (squirrel living inside). There are no treatments to stop the decay and the tree poses an imminent threat and should be removed.

The more southerly of the trees (larger tree) has issues as well including decay and weakening of the wood both inside and out. While the tree does not pose an imminent risk, it should have new safety cabling installed and be closely monitored for signs of further decay.

Management will have the tree maintenance company schedule the removal of the northerly tree as soon as possible, while also installing new cabling on the southerly tree.

The Board intends to continue the services of a consulting arborist on an ongoing basis.

Based on the terms of the contracts with the arborists, we cannot distribute copies of their reports but you may review them in the Management Office.
Here's a copy of the Rivercross Board memo.


rilander said...

"The vast majority were distressed with the highhanded method used by the Board to decide quality of life matters."
The Board has a responsibility to protect the property from damage such as trees falling against glass terrace railings or the swimming pool structure, which would then be paid for by the shareholders (residents) in the form of increased maintenance. They never said they were simply removing trees and leaving the area blank, but would replace them with other trees and shrubs. The trees were planted before Roosevelt Island became a residential community with high rise buildings, and 40-50 years ago little, if any, thought was given to the need for choosing plants that could exist in an urban environment in the middle of a river.
Removing diseased trees is not "arboricide"! Not removing diseased trees which could endanger property or even persons is simply irresponsible.

CheshireKitty said...

The possible removal of a mature tree should always be considered carefully, since such trees have great value, and of course cannot be replaced overnight. Although it appears that the trees that were saved for the time being have serious issues, I applaud the even-handed way the question was handled, and the moderate outcome that was worked out.

YetAnotherRIer said...

I agree with you. There is no good reason to keep a dying tree, especially if it is in the middle of a urban setting and puts people and property in danger of getting hurt/damaged.

LindaJFlynn said...

rilander said...

Trees that are dying and have compromised root systems and trunks do not have great value, except for negligence attorneys who might take the case when a person is injured by a falling tree or a homeowner whose property is damaged.

CheshireKitty said...

I agree that sick trees that are a danger to people and property should be removed; I was thinking more along the lines of the wonderful trees that were saved at the Cornell building site - which were not diseased.

Everyone can agree that there is nothing more wonderful than the shade, oxygen, home for birds/wildlife, that mature trees provide - it can't be duplicated by anything else. That's why they should be saved if at all possible.
If there were no trees, we would have no parks. Some say time is for viewing trees/nature and contemplation.

mookie113 said...

Very interesting that these mature trees have survived recent hurricanes, flooding & more but suddenly, when the shareholders are able to make bank and the trees are affecting their max asking price, they're sick & decayed. The tree massacre that Cornell is inflicting is horrid enough, and now this. Greed has come to RI.

CheshireKitty said...

I hope our trees survived the rigors of the winter better than our sidewalks.