Cool Tree Art On Avenue Y – Anyone Know The Story?



I spotted this sign hanging from a tree on Avenue Y and East 13th Street the other day. It was a pity I didn’t have a better camera on me.

Hopefully more stuff like this pops up around the neighborhood. It was a welcome sight to shake me from my post-accountant shell-shock. (Speaking of things to nail to a tree…)

Anyone know the story here?



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  • BrooklynBus

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it is illegal to nail anything city trees. Probably a big fine too if caught.

  • Heather

    It is illegal to nail things to city trees. It is also bad for the tree’s health and is a tree stewardship no-no. Ironic.

    • Yes, I was somewhat horrified when I saw this, despite the seeming good intentions of the artist who did this.

      • BrooklynBus

        Horrified? Is a single nail which probably doesn’t even go very deep really going to harm a tree?

        • Barbara

          Yeah see my comment

          • Exactly. The bark protects trees just as skin protects us. When a tree starts losing its bark it is a very bad sign.

          • BrooklynBus

            Every London Plane tree I see is always losing bark. The one in front of my house has been losing bark for almost 40 years that I am aware of and it is still standing.

          • Some species will moult their bark. That is a cyclical process.

          • Barbara

            You’re absolutely right about that.

          • London Planes are Sycamores.

          • Barbara

            London planes (Platanus x acerifolia) are not sycamores (Platanus occidentalis). They are in the same family and genus as sycamores and therefore related to them but they are a completely different species than a sycamore

          • But they have the same moulting behavior. That was my point, though somewhat generalized.

        • ES

          Perhaps I am not seeing the same thing you are seeing, but I thought it was actually tied around the tree.

          • Barbara

            I thought so too at first but that stain by the H of “THE” in the first line looks suspiciously like it comes from a nail.

          • The earlier one was. The current one, the one Ned photographed, is nailed.

          • How would the heart sit on the rope properly at that angle and height?

            The nail going through the “h” of the word “the” is definitely visible.

  • I believe a young person did this, and this is not the first sign on this tree, nor the only tree with a sign on it. Another tree, on East 13th Street south of Avenue X has similar heart with Spanish writing on it.

  • Barbara

    Why did my comment not get posted the first time?

    “Hopefully more stuff like this pops up around the neighborhood”. Hopefully it does not if that sign is actually nailed into the tree. Breaching a tree’s bark gives an opening to disease and insects. An intact bark is a tree’s best defense against pathogens which is why it has a built in system to close wounds (see branch collar, CODIT)

    And yeah, I’m a hort geek. But you should already know that by now.

  • EndofDaze

    Not surprised. Wonderful northern Sheepshead Bay neighborhood over there. Right near where those fine kids planted trees on East 14th, between Neck, and X. Lots of friendly people too…

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  • Brooklyn

    Horrified? horrified? do you understand what the words actual meaning is? “fill with horror; shock greatly” If a single nail did that to you, I’d hate to see you walk through a lumber town.

    • Barbara

      Do you know that you meant word’s not words? And how intellectual of you to point out the hyperbole (vocabulary word but of course you know that) instead of appreciating the actual intent of her comment, which was to note that it is a very bad thing to do to a tree.

      • BrooklynBus

        And I questioned how “bad” it actually is when it penetrates the bark probably by less than one inch and is only one single nail. You actually think it could actually kill the tree? It certainly is a hyperbole. Does this upset you more than the long nosed beetle? That is a real threat, not one individual sticking a nail in a tree.

        • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

          The “nailer’ who put up this sign (or signs) is well intention-ed but clearly misunderstands tree health. One nail or several nails should not be driven into trees. I am afraid Brooklyn Bus is more interested in science fiction than science facts. Barbara and Lisanneh are correct. I endorse them.

        • Barbara

          We are all going to be killed by something yet we all put some effort into taking care that we don’t do something that, though it seems innocuous, could do us serious harm.

          My maternal grandmother died from septicemia when my mother was three months old. How? By scratching or picking or otherwise breaking open a pimple by the side of her nose. Most of my adult life I didn’t believe it was possible for this to be true until I asked my doctor who said yes, it is possible that if an infectious agent enters your bloodstream in that part of the face the infection can go straight to your brain and kill you within 36 hours, or in today’s world of antibiotics, if you don’t get treatment within 18 hours you will die in 36 hours.

          So, can something so seemingly small and not deadly have the potential to kill? I think I have already answered that question in regard to humans. Trees aren’t all that different when it comes to the “shit happens” part of life.

  • ShadowLock

    here’s the story………it’s a tree, it gives you air, cut it down and you suffocate…….. not sure why that was hard?