Who cleared the eyesore?

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Nearly a year after a tornado tore though the borough a large, uprooted stump on a Forest Hills street corner was removed Tuesday, but residents have no idea who did it.

Four days before, residents complained that the city had not disposed of the unsightly stump even though others in the area were removed.

“The city is supposed to take care of it,” said Rana Mumtaz, who lives near the corner of Ascan Avenue and Ingram Street. “It’s ridiculous. They haven’t done anything.”

On Sept. 16, 2010, a twister knocked over the tree, along with many others across the borough.

But the city Parks Department left this particular tree untouched by what residents are calling a boundary dispute.

The street corner in question lies on the boundary of the Forest Hills Gardens Corp., a private housing community that takes up a large swath of the neighborhood.

The city does not own the streets in the Gardens, and the community funds all the maintenance itself.

But the boundaries do not always follow neat lines, and in this case the first third of the block starting at Ascan Avenue does not belong to the Gardens, but the other remaining portion does, according to residents and maps of the Gardens. In addition, the north half of Ingram Street belongs to the Gardens while the southern half — for the third of the block — belongs to the city. A black line runs down the middle of the road where roadwork has only taken place on half the street.

After the tornado hit, Mumtaz said the tree fell across Ingram Street and into the yards of some Gardens residents.

“The Gardens cut it up so people could drive,” she said. “They did that as a courtesy.”

Residents complained to office of City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), and staffers investigated who actually owned the property where the stump stood.

Based on the record staffers consulted, they believed the stump was in city territory and sent a letter to Parks in August.

But Parks said that the stump does not lie on city property.

“After looking at maps from the Borough President’s Topographical Bureau and the Department of Transportation, Parks determined the tree at 11 Ingram St. is within private property,” Parks said in a statement. “We are working with Councilwoman Koslowitz to determine discrepancies between the records used to make this determinat­ion.”

A spokeswoman from Parks said that the city did not remove the stump.

A representative from the Gardens said that the housing community did not remove the stump.

Claudia Pimelo Hauser, whose mother lives in the house on the corner, said that no one from her family called to have the stump removed.

She and her mother stopped by the house on Sunday, and the stump was still there.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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