South Brooklyn, and much of New York City, was hit by high winds on August 3. The ground was strewn with tree branches in the immediate aftermath. I ventured that the somewhat unusual amount of tree carnage was owed in part to the fact that the trees have not been as well-maintained as usual due to the Wuhan coronavirus.

While the tree debris were numerous, few trees in the Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill-Carroll Gardens general area fell. In one sad case however, pictured below, a magisterial Brooklyn Heights tree on Henry Street, just off Grace Court, tipped over, taking a good chunk of the sidewalk as it crashed from its tree pit away from the street, landing on an iron fence and brick wall.

Photograph of an uprooted, fallen tree resting on a fence on Grace Court in Brooklyn Heights.
The picture did not come out as well as I hoped on my phone, but Victor helped make it presentable. I will note two additional things beyond what I discussed above. First, you will see the displaced sidewalk in the bottom left corner of the picture, highlighting how extensive its roots were. Second, note that the tree looked relatively healthy.

As you can see above, the iron fence survived, highly warped, whereas the tree took out a good chunk of the brick wall protecting private backyards behind it. There were many onlookers gathered around the sad tree, taking pictures for posterity or social media. Not one to miss a report about things fallen, I too took a few somewhat fuzzy pictures with my BlackBerry Classic.

The poor tree was left in its rather undignified state for just over a week after it came down. By August 15, it had been removed, leaving an uprooted sidewalk, a sizeable stump, and two severely damaged fences. You will find the aftermath of the fallen tree in the two pictures below.

Tree stump of fallen tree in Brooklyn Heights.
The fenced-off tree stump. Edited by V. Gurbo.
Warped iron fence and broken brick wall caused by fallen tree in Brooklyn Heights.
The warped iron fence and broken brick wall. Edited by V. Gurbo.

It is always sad to see a large tree go, and worse in this case in that the tree appeared to be relatively healthy. Furthermore, it appears that the tree caused some substantial damage to the brick wall it crashed into, although fortunately no people were hurt. From the amount of branches that littered the ground after the high winds, we discovered the importance of consistently pruning trees in order that they do not have too much to shed in inclement weather. To conclude, I hope that the property owners who were affected by the falling of the tree receive due compensation, and that a new tree is planed where the old tree fell soon, in order to maintain Brooklyn Heights’ pretty and shady sidewalks.