Trees in New York get their own email addresses

You’ve heard the expression “Only in New York”? Well, only in New York could you imagine the idea of folk being invited to email trees. It might seem a bit outlandish, but that’s what’s being suggested in the Big Apple to encourage a better understanding of our environment, especially among children. Confused? Well, how about sending the following email to your favourite tree?

“Norway Maple,
Hello! I’m loving the summer bloom style you are featuring today, however one of your branches seems to be falling off! You might want to fix that before you hurt someone! Best wishes

So, if you’ve ever looked up to a tree to admire its beauty, now New Yorkers can express their feelings via email. But how did this come about?

Emailing trees could save paper!

Upper West Side Council member Mark Levine plans to give 200 of New York City’s 5.2 million trees their own email addresses, bringing our connection with trees to a new, more personal level. The idea sprung to mind after the MillionTreesNYC campaign reached the one million mark. However, it is hard to know which trees among the millions will be chosen - will it be the fresh, young trees, or the older, wiser ones? Mark Levine acknowledged that New York City can be a tough place to be a tree, and by giving each tree a unique email address, this will it easier for folk to report any problems.

His spokesperson Tyrone Stevens told the Gothamist: “This is not meant to serve as a maintenance hot-line, so much as a mechanism for deepening public engagement with the trees."

Already, people have also begun tapping away personal messages to the trees which seem to respond well. Of course, in a perverse way, this unusual initiative could help the environment, with less people writing to the council about damage to trees, using less paper, and requiring less trees to be felled!

Turning over a new leaf

New Yorkers have been encouraged to send information about falling or breaking branches, blight and rot on the trees to the individual email address.

It follows a project in Australia where citizens in Melbourne did the same with a handful of their trees.

Getting to the root of the problem - with so many trees in New York City alone it’s hard to keep track of their health and well-being. The use of emailing a specific tree makes sorting out tree problems much easier.

Signage next to chosen trees will show the email address of the trees, along with information about uncommon they are, their age, height, width and history.

The idea has turned a new leaf on how to create a connection with our leafy friends.