Sawdust Memories: Mansion House Elm Ain’t Nothin’ but Mulch Now

BHB reader “Carl” shot these photos of yesterday’s clean up of the Mansion House American Elm, which met its demise early Sunday morning. Just as many of the trees felled by Hurricane Irene and its aftermath, Brooklyn Heights’ beloved elm will be ground down into mulch. “Too bad it couldn’t be turned into lumber to create something beautiful,” our tipster laments.

More photos after the jump.

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  • stuart

    It really is a waste of perfectly good ninety-year-old timber to mulch it rather than take advantage of the beautiful wood a tree like this could provide. I understand the concerns over Asian Longhorn Beetles, but their borings are pretty obvious. A quick inspection could deem the tree safe, we used to be so pragmatic and thrifty. Hopefully in a few years, the younger folks will confront the city’s lawyers and make them revise this overly broad prohibition.

  • god

    I agree. That tree could have made some beautiful art/furniture/flooring/picture frames/tables.
    Sad to see it go.

  • Eddyenergizer

    It is not that simple, street trees generally make poor lumber due to the fact, they often grow in the partial shade of buildings. This causes the thunks to twist as they seek light coming from different angles with the change in seasons. Thus the wood fibers in the trunk are twisted and any lumber milled from it will severely twist and warp when dried.

    Mulch, is useful so the tree isn’t going to waste.

  • GHB

    Coulda made some nice table tops!

  • Ari

    The city is responsible for close to if not more than one million trees in this city.

    Do you really think they have time/resources/equipment/money to transport trees that have fallen and deliver them to a lumber yard for milling work?

    At least with them wood chipping fallen trees, the chips/mulch get used in local parks that benefit from the material (dog runs, landscaping beds, etc.)

  • Eddyenergizer

    Ari, yes exactly, except the city has over 5 million trees!

  • Robyn

    With this the last chapter of Mansion House Elm has been written.

  • stuart

    The head of the Parks Department would love to recycle trees into lumber. He has said so. Unfortunately he is prevented from doing so because of recent city ordinances about beetles. His predecessors definitely did so. They sold the trees to concerns that paid good money for them. Now the city has to pay to haul and chop them up into fine little bits.