On Tuesday, September 4th a Juniper Park Civic Association member called in a report to 311 and the JPCA hotline that a man was in the process of cutting down a NYC Street Tree on 69th Street. A report went into the Queens Department of Parks. John Mueller of the Parks Forestry Division and the Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) visited the location, 69-01 Juniper Boulevard South and found two street trees cut. One tree was cut at its base while the other a larger red leaf maple, had all of its branches sawed off. The homeowner, Jan Tibor Bogdan, told PEP officers and Mr. Mueller that he cut the trees. Tibor Bogdan dumped the branches he cut into his backyard. The homeowner told Parks officials that one tree was damaged in a storm and the other was diseased. However Parks' John Mueller could find no evidence of disease and was quoted as saying the trees were healthy.
It is illegal to cut or prune street trees without a permit and the fines can be very steep. The fines in this incident are at least $2,000 and could be as high as $4,000.
This was an expensive lesson for a Middle Village homeowner.