Was the Cherry Tree Hacking Really Worse Than We Feared?


Last week, we reported on RIOC’s brutal cherry tree hacking, blown off as “pruning.” It was crude, unprofessional and mindless. But on follow-up, we found something worse.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

How Amateurish Neglect Made the Cherry Tree Hacking Worse

As we reported when a resident discovered a crew butchering a long row of cherry trees south of the Queensboro Bridge, the work was less than amateurish. Done at the worst possible time of the year, the so-called “pruning” was not that. Cherry tree hacking was more like it because they chopped the wrong limbs in a mindless blast of sawing.

RIOC Chopped Down a Healthy Red Maple, Then Left the Remains Rotting Along Main Street

This line of trees thrilled residents and visitors for decades but, through negligence, are at risk of survival.

Decades old, improperly butchered cherry tree limbs, “pruned” in the wrong season, are left open to invasion by RIOC’s failure to protect them with sealant.

Cherries are prone to disease, so be sure to clean up all the discarded remnants. Also, cover all cuts with a tree sealant to fend off disease.

Gardening Know-How

But a follow-up visit shows that the state agency that never makes a mistake compounded the damage, failing with a crucial task.

All trees, but especially fruit trees, are susceptible to invasion from disease-causing bacteria, harmful fungi and insects when left unprotected. As you can see above, no protective sealant was applied to dozens of exposed injuries.

In comparison, this is like amputating an arm or a leg and not using so much as a crude bandage. The hacked-off cherry limbs are as at risk as any living thing would be. They have internal defenses, just as we do, but not enough for a brutal event like this one.

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