Deadly Trees Merit Removal

First, the beautiful canopy of trees helped land the Merritt Parkway on the National Register of Historic Places.

Merritt Parkway

Then, those same trees turned the winding, hilly highway into a death trap.

Now, the Merritt looks worse than a clear-cut Amazon jungle. Or — to be a bit more Fairfield County-esque — worse than a poodle just after its summer shave.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has embarked on a comprehensive program to rid the roadside — and median — of diseased and/or dangerous trees.

The woodsmen have spared very few.

14 responses to “Deadly Trees Merit Removal

  1. Good. That stump shows a white pine with a rotting heartwood. I’m sure they learned not to plant white pine again. They are brittle and can’t carry a heavy snowload. Replant wonderful new trees that pass inspection for the future!

  2. Richard Lawrence Stein

    The Merritt is a double edge saw or is this case chainsaw. I have seen what it can do to cars and in general traffic when either one gets in the way of the other. As much as people love it’s woodsy one of a kind beauty it must be given the respect to the power of harm it can do without proper up keep and maintainence

  3. Bart Shuldman

    Dan. I have to travel the Merritt to get to work and back. On any windy day, it becomes a nightmare worrying about any tree falling. In very heavy wind, it is without question branches will fall onto the highway at a minimum. While people might not like that it now looks different right now, and there is no color or leaves, it is saving lives. I am one who says thank you for doing the right thing. This time safety won over.

  4. It’s also a National Scenic Byway. The DOT says protecting human life trumps any aesthetic concerns and it’s hard to argue with that.
    (And an average of 62,000 vehicles per day travel on the Westport section of the Merritt, just so you know).

  5. How about a replanting program of native sugar maples?
    And by the way, why were the beautufly Ginkos on Main Street cut down?
    They were not damaged by the storm or salt water AND WILL RESPROUT THIS SUMMER! so we will have ginko bushes!

  6. If the DOT would clean up their mess and all the debris, it would help a lot. Right now it’s just an eyesore.

    • I take the eyesore of an ugly stump over a deadly crash any day. Who can really care about trees when human lives are at risk?

      I am sure someone stupid will chime in and disagree. Lord knows the environment is more important than saving lives, right?


      • Sank T. Monious

        Agree w/safety first. However they have great machines that remove stumps but if the stump sits long enough it will disintegrate. The trees that are falling down were probably planted when the Merritt was built. that’s the cycle of life.

  7. Frank: I do not disagree with you, and this action was certainly justified for safety, but the phrase “Lord knows the environment is more important than saving lives, right?” seems strange to me, considering the environment is what actually sustains our lives and makes our life possible. As I said, I think this was a justified move but it does come with a tinge of sadness — the things we modern humans must sometimes do so we can rapidly and safely get from one place to another in metal and rubber containers.

    • I hope you have no intentions to use a car. Ever. Okay? Deal?

      • David Stalling


      • Jim,
        I am thinking you may have missed the part of my post that says, “this action was certainly justified for safety.” I do rent and use cars sometimes. It’s possible to use cars and still be aware of real and potential environmental and social consequences. So no, it’s not a deal. But thanks for the very kind suggestion and offer.

  8. Is the DOT just cutting all trees within the appropriate swath or simply the diseased and dangerous ones? Is there a plan to resurface and replant the areas that have been cleared?