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Invasive tree threatens park

Park district authorizes removal

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 10:35 am

A growing threat of invasive plant species in Kings Point Park sparked a response from the Great Neck Park District board of commissioners at Thursday night’s meeting.

“We had a discussion about the condition of Kings Point Park,” said Commissioner Robert Lincoln Jr. in an interview Friday. “It’s a beautiful park with a lot of trees and different species of plants... we don’t want to lose it.”

The spread of the invasive plants could threaten the growth of new trees hoped to replaced trees downed by Hurricane Sandy, Lincoln said.

The board approved the removal of a Princess Tree, an invasive species native to China, following the receipt of a letter from the open space committee’s Elizabeth Allen warning of the tree’s danger to surrounding plant life.

“The Princess Tree, like all invasive species, is extremely opportunistic: it will happily fill a space it likes and push out the native species,” wrote Allen.

“The [Open Space Committee] strongly recommends the immediate removal of the Princess Tree from [Kings Point Park] and the planting of such number of native trees as are necessary to fill up the space previously occupied by the invader,” she continued.

The board decided to consult with the Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s agriculture program on revitalizing the park, Lincoln said.

Three Kings Point residents also wrote a letter to the board demanding the removal of trees adjacent to their homes, citing the danger of injury and property damage of the trees should fall.

“We are three families with children and are concerned about serious injury to ourselves and our homes if these trees were to fall down for whatever reason,” wrote Ponteah Golsaz, Leah Moshenayov and Homa Yazdanpanah. “If any of these trees from the park fall on our home and causes any damage and injury, we will hold the town of Kings Point and the Great Neck Park District responsible. We would like them to be removed for safety reasons.”

Lincoln said the board would work to address the issue.

“We’re going to have them identify what trees they’re concerned about, and we’re going to have an arborist check them out,” he said.


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