A Callery pear tree that had grown on the corner of 75th Street and Columbus Avenue for 40 years was ripped from the ground on Tuesday so that Con Edison workers can repair a transformer underneath. Council Member Gale Brewer said that she had worked with Con Ed and the Community Board to avoid ripping out the tree, but in the end there was no way to get to the transformer without removing it.
“I do share the same sorrow that my constituents have expressed in regard to the cutting down of this very special 40-year old tree,” Brewer said in a statement she sent us. “Old, big trees become good friends and give us comfort in our rough and tough city, and we are very sad and angry when trees like this one are taken down. I worked with agencies and neighbors to try to keep the tree, but the Parks Department feels that the work that Con Ed must do under the sidewalk compromises its future, and that keeping it is a danger to pedestrians and neighbors.”
Con Ed will have to provide funding for 15 new street trees, but nothing can go back into the spot where the pear tree stood once the transformer is repaired.
This morning, the tree was ripped out and taken away to be mulched. Check out the before and after pictures below:
Before picture courtesy of Brewer’s office; after picture by Avi.