Residents of the James Lenox House retirement community on East 73rd Street objected to removal of a tree on the left side of the building — until it was found to be a weed.
“We were going to have a petition to save the tree,” said resident Laura Lehrman, “until everyone found out it was a weed.”
The six-story tall “weed tree” is set to be cut down due to recent construction around the front of the building. Susannah Talley, a 21-year resident whose apartment was shaded by the tree, began organizing a petition to save the plant, but stopped the effort after the weed designation.
“I do not want to pound my chest about losing this tree. It’s just a real sad parting,” Talley said.
A city parks official confirmed that the tree was a weed and would attract unnecessary beetles and insects.
According to the Webster’s Dictionary, a weed is any plant that is “not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth.”
Lehrman said she still feels adamant that this is not reason enough to cut the tree down, saying it’s unacceptable to take the life of a plant due to a renovation.
“I see it as a decision that has been made, because aesthetically it didn’t fit in with their plans,” she said.
Talley has fled to her summer home in Massachusetts, saying she can’t stand to see the tree come down.
“I just would like to have a second opinion,” she said. “Even if it’s a weed tree, if it’s not causing any problems then why take it down?”
Talley said this isn’t her first time saving trees at James Lenox and called herself the “lady of the trees.”
“In the 90s, I petitioned and was able to save four trees from being cut down in the back of the building,” she said. “To me, trees are sacred — especially in New York.”