Stumped: Carroll Gardeners say Sandy-toppled trees must be removed

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If a tree falls in Carroll Gardens, will anybody pick it up?

That’s what residents are asking more than four months after two massive, century-old trees in Carroll Park came crashing down during Hurricane Sandy.

Workers hacked off the limbs of the giant arbors, but the uprooted trunks have remained in place since October — one crushing a cast-iron park fence and partially blocking the sidewalk outside the greenspace, and the other laying across the popular-but-now-off-limits rock garden.

Carroll Gardens residents say they are thankful the super storm largely spared their neighborhood, and understand that tree trunk removal wasn’t a top priority immediately after the hurricane — but now they say it’s about time for the trees to get the Buscemi treatment.

“At first I thought that there were bigger things that had to be taken care of, but now that so much time has passed it’s really puzzling that nothing has been done,” said Cara Drury of President Street, who frequents the park with her two young sons. “It’s just a constant reminder of what happened.”

Some Carroll Gardens parents say they avoid walking past the mighty tree trunk that leans partly over the Carroll Street sidewalk to prevent their small children from getting hurt or running into the protruding hardwood.

“I fear if my children are on their scooters, so I cut left through the park or walk on the other sidewalk,” said Carroll Street mom Virginie Smith.

The Parks Department said a contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — the agency tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with assisting in recovery efforts — will remove the toppled trees soon.

“We expect this work to begin within the next few weeks,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that the tree stumps do not pose a public danger or a health hazard, so their removal was not deemed urgent.

“The first priority with the trees is to get them off the power lines and out of the right of way. While the stumps need to be removed they don’t have as high of a priority as the boardwalks or the debris removal after the demolition of a house,” said Marilyn Phipps, a spokeswoman for the agency.

But park-goers fear the tree on the border of the green space is a real risk because it could squash the fence completely and come crashing to the sidewalk.

“One day it’ll fall and maybe crush a dog,” said Mark Daponte of Fourth Place. “They should pick it up as soon as possible — it’s an eyesore.”

When the time comes, workers will haul the toppled trees to Floyd Bennett Field to be chipped and turned into mulch, officials say.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
"to prevent their small children from getting hurt or running into the protruding hardwood."

Seriously?! They are concerned their children will get hurt running into a stationary object?
March 12, 2013, 9:57 am
Paul Bunyan from Atlantic Yards says:
Get Bruce Ratner's to get rid of them!! His crack construction team cut down 20 live mature trees on Pacific St in record time of 57 min 22 sec, get him to do it! See the video here!
March 12, 2013, 2:50 pm
louise from south brooklyn says:
How stupid is your kid if he/she runs into a tree sticking out on the sidewalk? Sorry, don't answer, I'd better ask the off-the-books, underpaid West Indian nanny since she's the one raising the little darlin'.

That said, it is absurd that that tree and others are still there.

Worthless Joan Millman and her flunkies do what, exactly, a block away? Community Board 6 does says what?
March 12, 2013, 5:41 pm
JAY from NYC says:
you know, this is an opportunity waiting to happen for someone who is a bit enterprising, could make furniture out of it and sell it for a nice profit if one gets to the stumps for free.
March 12, 2013, 6:12 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Perhaps these tees could be carved into benches to relax on, particularly if they don't intend on moving them out. Here's to hoping you'll pardon the interuption.
March 13, 2013, 4:42 pm
Alan Dorsey from Cobble Hill says:
I'm a woodturner and desperately want to get some sections of this tree. It is not useable as lumber/boards, but could definitely be made into (very) large bowls, trays, etc. that could be sold to raise money for the park. I've been in contact with Friends of Carroll Park in hopes of securing some of the wood, but as the article states no one is really sure when the Parks Dept., or whoever, is going to deal with it.
March 14, 2013, 8:05 am
Natalie from Brooklyn Paper says:
Alan email me at Thanks.
March 14, 2013, 8:57 am

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