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Flatbush Gets Street Tree Love

Ten forlorn street trees on Flatbush Avenue got some loving care from the South Midwood Pollinators this spring.

Working on the west side of the block between Glenwood and Hillel place, Pollinator Rachel Youens (pictured right) and Citizen Pruner Virginia Levie spent two early Sunday mornings removing damaged branches and low branches in danger from passing and parked vehicles. Rachel had long noted the damaged state of these young trees and brought up the issue at this year's SMP Planning Meeting.

Parks specifies that low branches should be removed to a height of 15 feet on the street side to avoid damage from tall vehicles like delivery vans and school buses. Broken limbs allow diseases and fungi to enter that can ultimately kill a tree.

It's important to note that Trees NY trains and certifies volunteers to become Citizen Pruners. Only Parks, Certified Citizen Pruners and contracted arborists are allowed to do this important work.

Many thanks to Patricia Olender and Sarah Sklaw at Community Board 14 for coordinating with Sanitation for the removal of the prunings. CB14 also applied to the Department of Transportation for more bike parking for that block. The good news is, individual citizens can also ask the DOT for bike parking stanchions directly.

Bikes and eBikes illegally locked to street trees are another serious threat. A big shout out to Kenneth Mbonu of the Flatbush/Nostrand BID for his interest and follow up with the bike issue.

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