Friday, May 4, 2012

Remembering Trees

Back in 2006, a Hudson Tree Board was created by Rainer Judd, then a Third Ward alderman and the chair of the Common Council Public Works Committee. The Tree Board didn't survive beyond Judd's two-year term in office, but during its brief existence, it recruited Andrew Pleninger of Urban Forestry LLC to do a study, in 2007, of the trees in Hudson. Recently, a reader brought to my attention one particularly prescient statement in that report, now five years old: "There are relatively few mature trees. Resources should be directed toward preserving the larger trees." 

With that Cassandra phenomenon in mind, Gossips remembers the mature trees Hudson has lost in the past year.

25 Union Street
123 Union Street

9 Union Street
356 Union Street


  1. Is there a way of protecting our remaining big trees other than incentives or regulations, carrots or sticks? Perhaps there are hybrids, but I wouldn't know.

    Surely these issues have been explored by hundreds, if not thousands, of communities across America. It is not simply a matter of sticking property owners with expensive new responsibilities.

    For the carrot approach, I found the following on the website of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It's not about trees, but it's thought-provoking.

    Although "[t]here are no restrictions placed on private owners of registered properties [and] private property owners may sell, alter or dispose of their property as they wish," the incentives include tax breaks, and, for certain owners, matching grants.

    (This example describes federal tax breaks and state matching grants, but you get the idea.)

    1. Tree Rebates & other incentives

      "The harsh urban environment can take its toll.Many trees do not survive their early years due either to lack of water, vandalism, or vehicle damage.
      Keeping urban forests growing has become a major effort for some cities,
      which have seen the benefits grow along with the trees: higher property values,
      better storm water management, cleaner air, and more."M.J.Coren

      I have no direct line with Mr.unheimlich
      so here are 4 sites, 3 from D.C.
      and one from Berkley,Calif
      I thought may be of interest
      Tree Rebates Help You Add and Save Green - Casey Trees
      Mar 13, 2012 – To make purchasing trees a more affordable option for you,
      Casey Trees offers Tree Rebates up to $100 per tree for those
      planted on private ...
      D.C. Puts Its Trees Up For Adoption | Co.Exist: World changing ideas ...
      To help out, the city is putting its saplings up for adoption,
      with a high-tech twist.New trees planted in neighborhoods
      now come with a smartphone-readable QR ... (don't know that the smartphone would work here,but adoption could.)
      DeepRoot: A New Solution For Saving Cities Money By ... - Co.Exist
      A tree isn't just an aesthetic improvement to a city.
      The services it provides--in terms of cleaning the air, managing water,
      and more--are incredibly valuable.
      Healthy Trees, Smooth Sidewalks: Tech Transfer › Services
      In addition to the trees that were preserved,
      the City planted more than 30000 ... trees cannot be safely retained,
      and proactively plant in nearby, vacant sites. .... the initial planning stage
      so trees can coexist with other infrastructure elements.
      (all these photo's are on some incarnation of T.Eric Galloway Properties ,No? It's his first move.Cut down the trees and leave building vacant,...for years.I really do not get it.Just walked by 356 Union.HPC minding that renovation?Commercial glass/stainless or aluminum door now installed on visible west side facing Union,or are all bets just off with GalVan?)

  2. Peter Madsen of New Leaf Tree Services was telling me of a study that actually values old trees and how they increase the value of real estate.
    t . 518 . 821 . 9388

    I miss the great old and very healthy locust that was removed from the side yard of the Presbyterian Church. Also lost two huge trees on Cherry Alley in my block alone recently.

  3. Vincent: This may be the same study that Gossips talked about (and provided a link to) on April 10. The post was called "Measuring the Value of the Invaluable."

  4. Carole,

    NYC's Million Trees Project has a great website with links to several studies and articles about the value of trees in an urban environment. That your readers might find interesting.

  5. Where "landmark trees" are concerned, the least we can do in Hudson is to try and pace ourselves in regard to their wholesale removal.

    Last year's strenuous tree-razing efforts by everyone's neighbor (four of whose properties are depicted in the above photos) reminded us of Saruman tearing down the forests of Isengard.

    We need to start somewhere. But effective techniques of preserving Hudson's greater trees won't necessarily require telling homeowners how to spend their money.

    New York state has spent lots of our money helping municipalities come up with all sorts of tree protection schemes.

    The DEC offers sample tree ordinances and sample language from the least invasive to the draconian. However, all of them presuppose the existence of a municipal Tree Board.

  6. The name of the architectural style of 116 Warren Street is ADAM, not Adams. People often mistake the name because the last letter of Adam is followed by the first letter 's' in the word 'style', making it sound like Adams style, when it fact it is ADAM style. The Adam brothers were Scottish, by the way, not American, but the classical revival styles that they espoused were popular here as well as in the UK.