Posted by: David Giacalone | April 25, 2019

in mem. City Hall Cherry Blossoms

. . . No words needed, but I will update* this posting if the McCarthy Administration or others at Schenectady City Hall issue an explanation for the removal of its Cherry Blossom Trees. 

*SeeRemoval of City Hall cherry trees leads to muted bloomsTrees removed to make way for restoration project” (Daily Gazette, by Pete DeMola, April 29, 2019, at C1), and Update at bottom of this posting.


April 23, 2019




May 3, 2018

CIty Hall May 3, 2018

 . . . IMG_7012-001





April 28, 2013



cb HarborFinally, a question: who would have guessed there would ever be more cherry blossoms at Mohawk Harbor than at our City Hall? See “cherry blossom surprises.”

update (April 29, 2019):

In the Gazette article “Removal of City Hall cherry trees leads to muted blooms (Daily Gazette, by Pete DeMola, April 29, 2019, at C1, City Engineer Chris Wallin gave the City’s explanation for removal of the trees:

“They were removed so the city could perform our window restoration project,” City Engineer Chris Wallin said. “Under that contract, all of our original windows in the building will be removed, restored and replaced.”

With the help of a consultant, the city determined six trees were located too close to the building to perform the work effectively, prohibiting the installation of equipment and rigging.

The trees were not original to the building’s construction, and were planted in 2005 to commemorate Arbor Day by Re-Tree Schenectady, a non-profit organization that plants trees around the city.

. . .

IMG_7012-001 Wallin acknowledged the pleasant springtime vibrancy produced by the trees, but said cherry trees, in particular, require vigilant pruning and maintenance to keep under control, and the city hadn’t always performed the work.

“They started to really obscure the front of the building, which is a historically significant building,” Wallin said.

That wouldn’t happen in front of White House or Executive Mansion in Albany, he said.

A few points in rebuttal and in sorrow:

  • The sub-headline in the website edition of the Gazette was fact-based: “Trees removed to make way for restoration project”. But, the sub-headline in the print edition draws a conclusion: “Loss of blooms was unavoidable, but may make a return following city hall restoration project.” (Emphasis added, and sentiment rejected by your Editor.)
  • It is almost too obvious, but I might as well say it: Proper pruning over the years, and/or additional pruning last year to prepare for the restoration project should have been sufficient to save the trees. In my opinion, our so-called Tree City really needs an Arborist, and she or he should not be under the thumb of the Mayor or City Engineer, but should make recommendations based on good-faith, tree-oriented evaluations.
  • I’ve noted before that “Our Tree City has never found a reason too trivial to justify removing even healthy trees.”

follow-up (August 27, 2019): Walking out of the Schenectady main Post Office yesterday, I glanced across the street at City Hall, and got another perspective on the City’s excuse that the uprooted cherry blossom trees were just too darn close to the building to allow proper work on replacing its windows. Here, without further comment, except to note that the cherry trees were on the lawn-side of those hedges, is the photo I took:

City Hall - lost cherry


p.s. Thank you, Gazette, for reporting on this topic and using our photo to illustrate what was lost.


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