The case of the felled trees at the old Klein farm in Fresh Meadows went to court Tuesday with a surprise defendant.
Saying he was responsible for illegally cutting down the trees was Ziming Shen, who runs the Preschool of America on the site at 194-15 73 Ave. Shen, who already has a record of cutting down trees illegally in Staten Island in 2005, has a six-year lease for the Fresh Meadows location.
The property is owned by Henry Huang, who works for his father, convicted felon and developer Thomas Huang. Several large shade trees were removed last fall and the Department of Buildings issued summonses to Audrey Realty Corp., the younger Huang’s now-defunct firm.
Tuesday’s Environmental Control Board hearing in Jamaica was for a zoning violation because the landscape was modified in a special planned community preservation district. Shen testified that he had the trees cut down because they were diseased, but documents submitted by Flushing arborist Carsten Glaesser showed that not to be true.
An $800 fine could be levied.