In response to our story on the centuries-old Tompkins Oak in Mamaroneck, and plans to dig flood mitigation pipes near it, Village Manager Richard Slingerman sent theLoop a copy of this letter to the Village of Mamaroneck from the Cornell Cooperative Extension regarding the CCE’s inspection of the tree.
It appears the Village is also interested in trying to preserve it:
Daniel J. Sarnoff
Assistant Village Manager Village Hall at the Regatta
123 Mamaroneck Ave.
PO Box 369 Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Dear Mr. Sarnoff:
This communication is in response to the site visit that we performed for you at Pine Street in the village of Mamaroneck on 3/12/12 concerning the necessary installation of an 8” storm sewer (pipe) “within the dripline and/or rootzone” of the existing 72” caliper red oak (Quercus rubra).
According to the information with which we were provided, the construction activity adjacent to this mature red oak to be carried out by the Village of Mamaroneck is planned to take place exclusively under the existing roadway. It seems to be accepted by university experts that tree roots are opportunistic as to their tendency to grow most vigorously in uncompacted soil where moisture and oxygen are more optimal relative to other areas of a given site.
Regardless of the relatively recent existence of the asphalt presently in place on the Pine Street roadway, the long history of traffic on this road that was described to us and the resulting degree of compaction that has likely resulted from that traffic would seem to have (already) precluded significant root penetration by this tree as it grew.
Considering this most likely scenario, the effects of placement of the sewer pipe in this roadway location relative to the tree in question could likely be minimal, especially compared to placement of this pipe in other areas around this tree where root growth would expectedly be more extensive. Should roots be encountered under the roadway location, the planned methods put forth and described to us by the village of Mamaroneck for removal of the roadway pavement and the subsequent use of Airspade, seemed consistent with sound horticultural practices in instances where construction work in close proximity to trees becomes necessary.