A Politician Would Like New York Trees to Have Their Own Email Addresses

By Jamie Condliffe on at

It’s virtually impossible to get by in today’s modern world without digital communication. Perhaps that’s why a New York City politician has a plan to give 200 trees around the city their own email addresses.

The idea belongs to Mark Levine, an Upper West Side Council Member. In an interview with Gothamist, he explained that “NYC is a tough place to be a tree,” adding that “giving each tree a unique e-mail address... makes it really easy to report problems.”

It’s not actually as crazy an idea as it sounds. It’s been happening in Melbourne since 2013, where it’s proven oddly successful. Levine reckons the approach can help improve the public’s relationship with trees, as well as providing a means for reporting issues, such as blight or dangerous-looking branches that look as though they may fall.

As for which trees would get the emails addresses? Levine suggests that they’d be chosen on the basis of several factors, including age, height, width and historic interest. The lucky ones—and they would be lucky, because there are a lot of trees in NYC—would then have their email address signposted, either directly on them or at least nearby.

If the results were anything like in Melbourne, public reaction would be... strong. There, such delightful digital messages as this have been penned to our wooden friends:

To: Algerian Oak, Tree ID 1032705

2 February 2015

Dear Algerian oak,

Thank you for giving us oxygen.

Thank you for being so pretty.

I don’t know where I’d be without you to extract my carbon dioxide. (I would probably be in heaven) Stay strong, stand tall amongst the crowd.

Levine currently has a draft bill in place for the scheme. It remains to be seen if it will take root. [Gothamist via Engadget]

Image by Vincent_AF