2011 has been a thunderous year full of political stalling, economic seesawing and finger-pointing. It’s no surprise that the growing contingent that is Occupy Wall Street has been able to rally thousands to join their forces in NYC and throughout the US. On their one month anniversary I want to point out that their home base, Zuccotti Park, in the Southern end of Manhattan, may be bearing the brunt of this protest.
Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis trees, commonly referred to as Thornless Honeylocust, fill Zuccotti Park. It is a monoculture, but at least it will mirror the single species planting of Swamp Oaks at the World Trade Center Memorial. Honeylocusts make good street trees and can usually take a lot of abuse. Still I can’t help but think that they must be suffering in some way due to this protest. Can gardeners get to them to provide proper care and watering? Are waste and liquids being poured into their fragile soil? What effect will the high density of people living in this tiny park have?
Though they deliver a brief show of yellow fall color, Honeylocust trees drop their leaves very quickly. Wintertime is the most spectacular time to see Zuccotti Park when the trees are completely wrapped in white string lights. If the protestors don’t move out soon, the lighting installers are going to have a difficult time decorating the trees for the holidays which usually starts at the end of October or early November in NYC.