You are reading

New Trees, Tree Guards and Plantings Coming to Sunnyside’s Commercial District

tree guard

Sept. 18, 2014 By Christian Murray

Sunnyside’s commercial district is on its way to looking a whole lot greener.

Sunnyside Shines is about to plant an additional 27 trees throughout the business improvement district to ensure that every street is covered.

Rachel Thieme, the executive director of the BID, said that the district currently has 126 trees and after the planting there will be 153, which will line Queens Boulevard (38th to 50th Street), Greenpoint Avenue (42nd to Queens Boulevard) and nearby streets.

The 27 new trees are expected to be planted this fall, care of a grant the BID was able to secure from the Queens Borough President’s office  in June. These trees will also be fit with tree guards, as part of the BID’s quest to ensure that all 153 trees in the district eventually have guards.

“Street trees provide so many benefits to the district,” Thieme said. “They create a buffer between traffic and pedestrians, provide cleaner air and help create a more attractive neighborhood.”

Currently, 27 of the 126 trees have tree guards—following the recent installation of 19 tree guards on the north side of Queens Boulevard between 40th and 45th Street, which was in part funded by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office.

The first eight guards were installed in January—when White Castle and Pickman Realty covered the cost to put them in on the south side of Queens Boulevard (between 43rd and 44th Streets) and on 46th Street (between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue).

“The tree guards are a big improvement to the Sunnyside streetscape,” Thieme said. “They protect the tree roots and plants, which will keep the district looking greener. “

The standard cost of a tree guard is about $1,000, after it is measured and custom-made for a given location. Some cost more if the tree bed has to be expanded.

Thieme said that BID plans add another 15 guards early next year—although it is still working out its budget.

In addition to the trees and guards, the BID plans to add plantings to all the tree beds throughout the district. The BID has started planting a type of Liriope, which is an ever-green with a purple summer bloom, to some of tree beds.

Some businesses have taken it upon themselves to add plantings to tree beds. For instance AAA hardware, located at 43-24 Queens Boulevard, and Takesushi, at 43-46 42nd Street, have flowers outside their establishments already in bloom.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

How do I get tree gaurds in front of 45-20 and 45-14 43rd street, new trees were planted last year

P and B

Wow they are getting a bargain at 1000 each. In my building we got charged over double that price to put up tree guards. They do look nice. It would still be nice to have a few more garbage cans in the area. 39th avenue has none between 43rd and 48th street.

Sunnyside girl

so Squirts migrated to the south side of the boulevard now? He used to be camped out in front of Pure. He’s been a fixture for so many years.

Rick Duro

On Sunday morning I walked along Queens Blvd between 41st and 43rd Streets. Here is what I saw w/i the 8 tree guard spaces: beer bottles, lots of cigarettes, food, car parts, napkins, a diaper, and other assorted trash. No dog poop tho. I would like to see a study to determine what is actually worse for trees…dog poop or disgarded cigarettes. Neither should be left on the ground…ever.

There was a big giant pile of human waste on 43rd st between 2 cars, just off of the blvd, the homeless chap seemed quite relieved as he walked away….



Squirts is parked outside of South Pole everyday for the last month at least. All you need do is look at the sidewalk and you will see his spit marks. I actually see people walking around the bus stop to avoid him. He is disgusting

john doe

Squirts is alive and well!!! He’s now camping out on the upper level of Queensboro Plaza, thank heavens he’s not in our hood anymore!!!!

u say tomaydo I say tomato

What happened to Squirts?? He seems to have disappeared, maybe the Sunnyside chamber of commerce bought him a one way Amtrak ticket up to Ticonderoga. Cleanin up for the hipsters getting outta hand.


The tree guards are for dog owners who allow their dog to release excrement on the tree and plants which kills the plants/trees.


Can someone tell me whos GENIUS idea was it to put a bench right in front of that Bucharest restaurant on 40th? With the planters there you have about 5 inches of freaking space to get through. It doesn’t help that all those Romanians be hanging outside the restaurant making it another obstacle to get around.

freakin’ Sunnyside man..

Sunnyside Is Blooming

For those who are interested in trees there will be a cleanup and planting in Sunnyside on Saturday morning October 11. You can contact Amanda at Councilman Van Bramer’s office. For those of you not interested in trees or tree guards ignore this.

Sunnyside girl

I hope nobody steals the trees. We planted 3 free trees we got from the city in front of our building on 41 st and somebody stole 2 of them and chopped down the other. We were sick about it and filed a complaint with the police but nothing was done about it. But I am glad to see some improvements made to Queens Boulevard and I like the new plaza at 46th st under the 7 train.


I don’t mind the tree guards, they make them look better but $1000? Pick up two amigos from Home Depot and buy a welding machine, I’ll do them at reasonable wage. The cost of these cannot be more than $150-$200 including labor, unless they are in cahoots with some contractor who is writing inflated invoices.

Plus, isn’t the city responsible for planting trees, it seems like BID is taking credit for the planting while they should be taking the credit for requesting them.

I am all for beautification and tree lining of our dark, gray, depressing neighborhoods, but $150,000 could have been used in a much better way. I hope these trees grow without issues and we can have a nice green neighborhood soon.

Jake M.

It’s so hard to prevent dogs from going to the bathroom under trees. I am a dog owner, and I try and keep my dog from peeing or pooping in the tree area, but sometimes she’s so quick that before I know it she has popped a squat next to the trunk! Tree guards are a great idea! $1,000 seems like a LOT of money, though.


While we’re on the subject of trees, has anyone seen that strange tree planted by Mr. Kim in front of his dry cleaning shop at 43rd Street/43 Avenue near the Korean deli. Appears that thing is sucking the life out of the new sapling recently planted. looks like it belongs somewhere in Costa Rica or the Amazon not in Sunnyside. wonder what the ground rules are for planting within the tree guards; I’ve seen some with lovely flowers while others are just plain tackola. this should definitely be addressed at the next CB2 meeting to hash out some guidelines

47th Avenuer

Tree guards help prevent the piling of garbage and litter in the tree’s basin, which people seem to enjoy doing around here. Furthermore, it’ll thwart people from leaving their dog’s excrement there too (I’ve never heard of anyone kicking a tree). I don’t understand what the complaints are about?

Hipsters have nothing to do with cosmetic improvements. Why wouldn’t you want to live somewhere that looks nice? If having pleasant surroundings is such a thorn in your side, maybe you should try living in the slums of Brooklyn or Staten Island?


Am I the only guy who’s gonna mention this obvious thing? Since when do people in Sunnyside need a tree guard??? How about just DON’T KICK A TREE!!! A thousand bucks just because no one in our neighborhood has the grapes to stand up to jerks who kick plants? Sheesh.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News