Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Giving Tree

I can't describe the shock and saddness I felt when I saw this tree being cut down a few months ago. The words of the plaque that Madison Square Park recently added at the base of the tree actually make me feel better about seeing the stump that used to be a huge, flowing old tree. It's kind of like a real life The Giving Tree - my favorite book from kindergarten.

From the plaque:
English Elm
This trunk is all that remains of an English elm that already stood here when the park first opened in 1847. The last few branches of the dying tree were recently cut back as a safety hazard. The trunk remains for now as a reminder of a beloved friend that shaded park users for many generations.
The park's elms are the oldest trees in the park dating back perhaps 200 years. Two elms of similar age survive in the north end of the park.
Like Roxy Paine's stainless steel sculpture Defunct across the pathway, this majestic trunk represents the end of a long and proud life cycle.

Roxy Paine's Defunct across the pathway.

Then and Now...sitting on a bench under the tree this past summer...even when the green leaves of summer return, sitting on this bench just won't be the same.

No comments: