VIDEO: Watch One of NYC’s Largest Trees Get Taken Down and Turned Into Lumber
When the Parks Department recently declared one of the city’s largest trees dead (and therefore dangerous to those walking by), they turned to the experts at RE-CO BKLYN, a Ridgewood-based company that reclaims fallen NYC trees and produces live edge slabs and custom furniture.
The circa 1870 European Elm tree lived in Prospect Park and was 75 feet high and more than seven feet in diameter with 18- and 24-inch limbs that were starting to break off in extreme weather events. But instead of simply ripping the tree up and dumping it in a landfill, Andrew Ullman, Brooklyn’s Director of Forestry, decided to enlist RE-CO to mill it and turn it into dry lumber that will be used to create a custom conference table for the NYC Parks Prospect Park offices.
Because of the tree’s massive size, it took months of planning to coordinate its removal. RE-CO had to use a crane to take the weight out of it and control its fall. They then used a 60-inch chainsaw bar to make cuts through the logs and a 60,000-pound excavator to unload the pieces (which each weighed six-and-a-half tons) from the log truck for milling. According to a press release, “The three-inch thick slabs are now air drying for a period of up to two years before a brief time in a dehumidifying kiln. At that point the lumber will be ready for production of fine furniture.”