Parks removes 22 tree stumps

Harry Bott points to the spot where a tree stump was once located before the Department of Parks and Recreation, with encouragement from Senator Jeff Klein, removed 22 stumps. Photo by Victor Chu

From now on it will be smooth walking for residents of Woodlawn.

Over the last month, the Department of Parks and Recreation has removed tree stumps which residents complained were hazardous and community eyesores.

According to Harry Bott, past president of the Woodlawn Heights Taxpayers Association, he was assigned to a special detail committee his organization had formed for the tree stump problem.

Bott explained that over the past four years, Parks has been removing dangerous or dead trees from the area, but left the unsightly stumps behind.

Residents complained the stumps block parking spots and seniors would often stumble over them.

“It was a hindrance for people walking and some people couldn’t get out of their cars. We first reported the matter to Parks on September 26, 2007,” said Bott. “Since that time we got more stumps with no results.”

The group contacted the office of Senator Jeff Klein with an updated list of stump locations and explained their dilemma, hoping something would finally be done.

“Because they are so low to the ground, the stumps can be hard to see and therefore create a safety hazard,” said Klein.

Klein immediately contacted Parks and over the past month, the agency has worked to remove the stumps.

“Parks cares for over 500,000 street trees citywide. We remove street tree stumps on a regular basis as part of our tree care and maintenance program,” said a Parks spokesperson. “In July and August, Parks removed approximately 1,100 street tree stumps borough-wide, including stumps in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx.”

The removal of the trees was possible through an allocation, by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of approximately $400,000 to eliminate tree stumps waiting for removal for at least two years.

But the job is not yet done. Bott hopes to see the planting of new trees where the old ones once stood.

“Our next step is to work on getting new trees planted,” said Bott. “With the help of Senator Klein we were told we might get them in the spring.”

According to Parks, the trees will be restored upon individual request through the MillionTreesNYC program.

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