As part of New York City Parks Department’s milliontreesNYC initiative, 43 new trees now line East 15th Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z, the same block where the city ripped out dozens of trees months ago.
The block, a somewhat dreary stretch abutting the Brighton line subway tracks, which often doubles as an illegal dumping ground, may soon look like an inviting, flowery pasture of sorts. The pollution resistant Regent Sophora trees grow to 80 feet tall with foliage that can extend 70 feet wide, and feature “showy” creamy white flowers, according to Backyard Gardener. The new trees line the sidewalks.
Earlier this year, contractors tore out scores of trees – both sickly and healthy – as they cleared out the MTA-owned property adjacent to the trains. Residents at the time were outraged. Though the lot needed to be cleaned more often – and many demanded taller fences to curb illegal dumping – they were upset that healthy trees were removed, and worried that the reduced barrier would mean louder rumbles as trains passed. None of the new trees are in this lot, and it’s unknown if the site was selected because of the complaints.
While the planting on the eastern side of the block meant that much of the overgrown brush on city property needed to be clearer, they still did nothing about the garbage and dumping left on the stretch, meaning many trees were planted amid piles of garbage like those pictured below.