In 2013 we lost two great trees in Tompkins Square Park. One was at that point the largest American Elm in the park. The other was much older, it predated the clearing of the interior of the Tompkins Square Park in the 1860’s. I suspect it was large enough to provide shade on the perimeter of the parade ground created during the Civil War. It was an extremely gnarled Black Locust Tree. Before I knew the species, I called it the gnarly squirrel tree. I wanted to know what this amazing natural sculpture was, and it was one of the reasons I started this tree identification project.
This past October someone burned the tree. I suspect it might have just been a tossed cigarette butt that landed inside the tree and not deliberate arson. Or at least I choose to believe that. Photo is looking straight down into the hollow and now burned tree. Earlier reports on the GammaBlog: 10/13/13 , 11/7/13.
I was hoping that the arborists would leave the stump like this for the squirrels and as a memorial to the old tree. Who knows maybe it would sprout again.But this is all that’s left.
A section of the Tompkins Trees map between Avenue A and B on 7th Street. The tree stump marked with an X to the left of the entrance gate is where the Gnarly Squirrel Tree was.