Friday, May 24th

A Tree Tour of Old Scarsdale

TreeTour2More than 50 adults and children assembled on Autenrieth Road near Scarsdale Village on Saturday April 6 for a late afternoon tree tour, led by certified arboriculturalist Cynthia Roberts.

The walk featured some majestic trees that shade the neighborhood, including a 300 year-old black oak tree, a white pine, a towering tulip and a sycamore tree. At each stop she discussed the properties and benefits provided by these trees, including shade, cooling, stormwater absorption, transpiration, photosynthesis and the habitat they provide for insects and birds.IMG 2610

She shared pine needles, pine cones, acorns, thorny leaves and seed pods and explained their function for both the tree and the environment.

She demonstrated how the tree’s root system extends two to three times beyond the drip line of the tree, forming an underground system for pulling water up from the ground.

The youngest members of the tour were well versed in why the tree canopy is an essential piece of our landscape.

The tour was inspired by a threat to one of Scarsdale’s most treasured trees, posed by a developer who wishes to build a garage that will damage the roots of the approximately 300 year-old oak at 21 Autenreith Road. Roberts is fighting to enforce and strengthen the Village tree code and to make tree health a factor in the approval process for renovation plans by the Board of Architectural Review and the Planning Board.

The following letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Michael Otten on April 7, 2024:

As part of the Village Trustees review of zoning, I encourage serious consideration of tree regulations and enforcement. Having fines for un-approved tree removal is not sufficient when one recognizes that a tree can be killed or debilitated by destroying the ecosystem around it. I hope our village government will consider what staff, Board(s), committees and regulations need to be in place to protect the many elderly residents of Scarsdale, by which I mean our older trees, not just the humans who benefit from their beauty, oxygen, residences for wildlife and ability to absorb storm water.

Let's keep Scarsdale's Village in a Park in front of us as an over-arching principle for going forward.

Best, Michael Otten
Stonehouse Road

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