Schenley Plaza Trees

I walked through the nearly-complete renovated Schenley Plaza in Oakland on Friday morning and did a double-take: the double row of trees that bordered the plaza's Hillman Library edge are -- gone. It seems that I'm not the only one bewildered by this development. From this morning's P-G letters:
Fine old trees gone

They pulled it off Monday with SWAT-team precision, in broad daylight. The suspects couldn't move anyway, but still they were first fenced in. In retrospect, it's clear that was to keep anyone else out, but just for good measure, a rent-a-cop was on hand too.

Then, one by one, they were systematically mowed down and swiftly whisked away with a crane.

Not content to have chain-sawed all the nice ironwoods that had somehow managed to survive in those oversized planters late last fall (at a time when they were dormant and easily could have been transplanted somewhere or sold at a handsome price), now the Pittsburgh Parks "Conservancy" has seen to it that all the sycamores growing on the Hillman Library side of Schenley Plaza have joined them as mulch.

Apparently old trees need not apply for space at their new plaza. I hope they're proud of themselves.

JOHN HEMPEL
Braddock Hills

Editor's note: The writer is a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and chairman of the Braddock Hills Tree Committee.

Were the trees sick or dying? Why did they have to go?

Comments

4 Responses to "Schenley Plaza Trees"

Anonymous said... 3/19/2006 4:06 PM

They cut the trees down to construct a restaurant.

Mike Madison said... 3/19/2006 4:11 PM

Aha! Thanks. In ten seconds of searching, I couldn't find details, but I did find a restaurant reference here.

Mark Rauterkus said... 3/19/2006 7:55 PM

A merry-go-round is a perfect fit to the Pgh Parks gang and Meg C's enterprises. One can never get ahead on a merry-go-round.

Cindy Closkey said... 3/25/2006 8:28 AM

An article today in the P-G gives a more reasonable-sounding rationale for taking down the trees. It mentions the restaurant but says that wasn't the driving cause. Accoding to an arborist, they were sick, partly due to bad pruning years ago, and they're being replaced in groups because they don't grow in shade. Also, the old trees are being propagated to replace future trees.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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