Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree…

…at least, not the towering one at Town Hall.

Alert “06880” reader JP Vellotti has long admired the apple tree at the foot of the old Bedford Elementary School, just above the Myrtle Avenue stone wall.

Town Hall 1

In fact, he picks apples from it every year, and makes a pie.

This year, he may have to go to Stew’s.

Yesterday, JP spotted a fresh new sign on the trunk of the old tree:

Town Hall 2

The notice — posted by the tree warden — says that “this shade tree, the property of the Town of Westport,” will be removed in 10 days, or thereafter.

“Any person or organizations” objecting to the removal must appeal in writing within 10 days. The address — 110 Myrtle Avenue — is the very same building at the top of that handsome lawn.

How do you like them apples?




20 responses to “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree…

  1. it always makes me sad when trees are cut down in the winter. (yes, such as Longshore). We cannot see the tree in spring and summer and say,
    yes, old. But not dead. There IS a difference.

  2. So why should the tree be cut down…it’s bearing fruit? It doesn’t appear to be a hazard…sad, right? Lovely tree.

  3. Let’s assume for the moment that the tree warden thinks it should be cut down for reasonable and appropriate reasons. Can’t the town replace it with a new apple tree? In a few short years it will bear fruit and be just as beautiful.

  4. Wanda Tedesco

    Not a good start to 2014. Houses and trees down they come!

  5. Someone needs to ask the Tree Warden the reason for removal. If it’s not terminal disease or imminent danger to pedestrians, then it’s the time of year to prune that tree for its health, appearance, and improved apple productivity – anyone up for a tree pruning party?

  6. Kathy Brunjes

    Is it asking too much for the boiler plate notice to include a space for why the tree must come down? Many of us would simply feel feel sad with the news if we understood the reason. Instead we’re left feeling like we’re about to be robbed…

  7. Michael Calise

    Maybe we need another opinion!

  8. Stephanie Bass

    Again with the trees.

  9. marcia K falk

    Kathy makes a great point about asking the tree warden to provide an explanation on the posting. As the tree steward of our town, the warden should share his knowledge to heighten our understanding of why the tree’s life is over—AND–there should be a plan for a replacement specimen if not in the exact spot, somewhere else in the town. Knowing this will give all of who value our trees a boast of hope that the town will not be denuded. As Westport’s frail trees are removed for various reasons, there should be a parallel plan in place to insure that the town’s tree landscape is preserved with new growth and well planned reforestation.

  10. Sally Campbell Palmer

    Does the tree warden do any tree maintenance or does he just cut them down?

  11. Thanks Dan for updating the 06880 community. I have a feeling though, that somebody is going to owe me a pie this fall 🙁

  12. Sigh, overzealous tree warden

  13. Sandy Soennichsen

    Has anyone asked the tree warden if there is a scheduled replacement? And I don’t think the warden needs to share his thoughts about why a tree is being removed to every busybody in town, and I don’t think a second opinion is needed either, if you don’t believe the tree warden knows what he’s doing, go tell our first selectman, or go to school and become an arborist yourself.

  14. Clark Ruff-Staples ’68 I’m not familiar with this tree and I do know that trees have a life that doesn’t last forever. Apple trees are beautiful but they get wormy and rot after a certain period. I have a collection of Apple(wood) that I’ve worked with and when the wood has no further utility, it produces a hot fire in my woodstove. I would never cut down a healthy tree but it sounds like this tree has seen better days and it’s time has come. If that’s the case I wouldn’t mind having a chunk of it that I could make something out of it to remember the tree and Westport.

  15. I have an idea…what if I made a bunch of limited edition rolling pins from the apple wood. Maybe for a charity auction or a way to fund new apple trees around town?? Thoughts?

  16. Wrong Sandy… We are taxpayers and are entitled to know why. Is it a state secret? Hardly… Marcia Falk has it right. A simple explanation …like disease…rot…ect… This is not a silver maple or a white pine but a large apple tree that many enjoy who pass it enjoy…. Especially in the fall! Oh…and count me in for a roller pin!

  17. marcia K falk

    To clarify the questions about the role of the tree warden as a public official of Westport, notes from last August Board of Finance meeting gives us some answers:

    Last August Steve Edwards, Public Works Director informed the Board of
    Finance the reasons he was proposing funds for a full time tree warden for Westport:
    Edwards said that while the First Selectman Gordon Joseloff will appoint the new warden, Edwards will work with a small review panel to make a final recommendation to him.

    Finance Chairman Avi Kaner made note that several tree-related deaths and disasters were a factor in the board’s decision to allocate the additional funding for the warden in this year’s budget, following a request from Joseloff.

    “During the storms of recent years we’ve all witnessed the destruction,” he said.

    Edwards said the nearly full-time warden would enable the town to more aggressively identify trees on public property that may potentially be hazardous.

    “You’ve talked a lot about taking trees down,” noted finance board member Helen Garten. “I’m hoping the tree warden is also going to play a role in the maintenance of our town trees and advising on new plantings.”

    The only member of the public who spoke, Jennifer Johnson, echoed her concern.

    “We not only need to remove trees, we need to replace them,” she said.

    “I encourage the town to make sure that they’re replaced for future generations. … And I encourage the tree warden to be actively involved in replacing the trees that were lost downtown,” he added.

  18. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    The tree warden is probably just getting off to a quick start in his new job. Cutting down trees is easy; Swing an axe, rev up a chainsaw, yell “Timberrrrr!!!!” and you’re earning your keep. Then comes the hard part: Replacing them. After all, takin’ ’em down is fast but who wants to hang around until they grow? Is Tree “Warden” the proper title? Are the trees behind bars? Can they get out on parole? What about conjugal visits? Perhaps the correct title should be Arborist/Euthanizer of Deciduous Life Forms. I hope he plants a lot more than he’s taking down. What kind of job security does a tree warden without any trees have?

  19. elaineclayton

    This tree has always made me so happy, the apples it produces are lovely to see on my bike rides around town. There are so few fruit trees around, this one could and should be preserved if at all possible. Why would it be destroyed? In Salem Mass. ( Danvers area), a pear tree planted by my many generations back great grandfather Gov John Endecott is 400 years old and still produces pears each year. It’s protected and cared for– I’d live to know the history of this tree, and why should a tree that we can be proud of here in Westport, that is still fruitful, be cut down?

  20. Janice P. Marcus

    Was there something wrong with the apple tree? Or is this simply another example of “change for the sake of change”? This new Town Administration just doesn’t get it. You’d think they’d have taken the hint from the public reaction to the proposed “re-design” of Compo Beach. But NOOOO, they are convinced that they know what’s best and determined to follow through…witness the Committee’s defensive response to the public outcry on that issue.
    And it’s being said the this is the tree warden’s decision. Somebody must have directed the warden’s attention to this tree.
    So, what do citizens have to do in order to show that they are seriously unhappy and concerned?
    Demonstrate on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge? Maybe that’s not such a bad idea!