Prospect Heights

Arborist fired after slamming Brooklyn Botanic Garden for removing tree

August 13, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
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Alec Baxt, an arborist who worked at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was fired recently after he recommended in a Facebook post that garden members “consider canceling your membership for a year.” The issue was the garden’s destruction of a 10-foot-high living tree stump with a hollow big enough for people to stand in it, according to The New York Times.

Parkgoers called it the “treehouse tree.” The tree had sprouted some new branches that BBG feared the tree would not be able to support. In a letter to members, management felt that making room for “a vigorous young tree” would “make for a much healthier collection overall,” the Times reported. However, the arborists wanted to maintain the tree by pruning the new growth. Baxt said the real issue was the garden’s leadership disregarding the recommendations of its horticultural staff and landscaping staff – a contention that BBG denies. The tree itself was planted about 100 years ago near what is now the Fragrance Garden. Most of it was chopped down this spring after arborists found that the trunk could no longer support its canopy.

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