A COSTLY TREE.
The life of a fine white birch tree and, inoi dentally, of two adjoining stunted pines was cn dangered by the laying of a portion of the 60 in. wa’er main which runs up Central Park West to the Eighty first street entrance to the park and replaces a 30-in. laid twenty live years ago. T he underground course of this old water main from the park entrance at Eighty-first street to the res ervoir wall is in a perfectly straight line. When the officials of the water department came to the last lap in the excavation of the trench for the new 5-ft. main through this short stretch of park, surveys were carefully made over the direct line of the old pipe. This young white birch stands fully 30 ft. high and, with its outspreading branches, was directly in the centre between the two surveyed lines for the new trench walls. The landscape architect resolved to save it, if possible. Meanwhile the officials of the water department explained that the old main had been laid in a straight line, and that it would cost much money for specially cast pipes and much additional expense for laying them to have this large main zigzag round every tree that hap pened to stand in the way. Such arguments, however, had little weight with the landscape architect. It was suggested to him that the tree could he moved, without touching the roots at all, for a small fraction of what it would cost to lay a crooked line of pipe round it. As an altcrna live it was pointed out that the contractor could even tunnel under the roots at a depth of fourteen feet, and thus lay a straight line without injuring the roots of the white birch. Each suggestion was rejected; but at last the park depart ment granted to lay what, in spite of its tieing so short, is probably the crookedest line of main that has ever liecn laid. Its cost has been over $5,000. To lay it properly there were called for twenty-one special castings of a 5-ft. pipe, witli five sharp turns, very difficult to fit, and backed with concrete. Besides all that, a ciretdar wall of dry masonry had to be built round the tree, because the park department was afraid that the loose earth thrown up from the crooked trench might fall against the trunk and take the hark off I That was not all A crooked pipe goes under the reservoir wall, and for 80 ft. inside that old pipe is laid in concrete 8 ft thick, top, bottom and sides. Why it was so done no one knows unless the park department had a job-lot of concrete it wanted to get rid of when it was put in. It has proved a hard task t attempt to get through that solid mass.
Henry Saam, sr., has been appointed chief of the Mohawk, Mich., fire department.