Downtown Trees Get Priority Treatment

Remember all the hand-wringing 2 years ago, when trees were suddenly removed from Main Street? And when others were posted for removal in front of Town Hall?

Westporters love their trees. And, true to its campaign promises, the Marpe administration is making sure the next generation of trees gets the care they need.

A company cleverly named “Care of Trees” is deep-watering the roots of 5 new trees on Main Street, with an injection method. One or 2 slow-drip 20-gallon bags of water continue to nurture each tree throughout the week.

Tree care on Main Street.

Tree care on Main Street.

Taking care of young trees after planting is tricky, notes tree warden Bruce Lindsay.

“Their root systems are new. Watering is really important, to help them take hold. Street tree planting requires a great deal of planning, design, maintenance and funding to reach establishment.”

The Main Street trees were donated. The weekly cost of $300 per visit by Care of Trees comes out of the town’s tree maintenance budget. Lindsay says that after this year — once the trees are acclimated to the environmental conditions — watering will not be needed.

“The initial growing years are hardest on newly planted trees, especially in difficult site conditions like Main Street,” Lindsay notes. “Heat is radiated from cars, asphalt and sidewalks. There is limited root space and lower water access.”

The 8 new trees around Town Hall are getting the same treatment (below):

Tree in front of Town Hall

Meanwhile, Lindsay had a company trim and crown clean the trees around the Imperial Avenue parking lot, near the bridge leading to the newly renovated Levitt Pavilion.

Invasive growth was removed, and the area was scoured for safety and higher visiblity purposes. Each tree was climbed and cleaned, in a very detailed process.

Tree work being done near the Imperial Avenue foot bridge.

Tree work being done near the Imperial Avenue foot bridge.

Lindsay says, “People see me removing hazardous trees. But a lot of my job consists of stewardship: trimming, cleaning, watering. We want to make sure we preserve what we have, and mitigate any potential problems.”

Trees — their cutting, growth and regeneration — will continue to be a hot topic in Westport.

But right now, their maintenance has not fallen by the wayside.

4 responses to “Downtown Trees Get Priority Treatment

  1. Sounds like Westport finally has a fully involved Tree Warden.
    All the best, Bruce ! 🙂

  2. Don Bergmann

    The Marpe Administration is deserving of good words, but the process to address specific areas and trees in general began somewhat before Jim, with the efforts of the Tree Board, the commitment to and the accomplishment of hiring Bruce Lindsay, our Tree Warden, efforts of people working on Downtown and others. Bottom line, beautiful trees make for beautiful spaces and, their maintenance is crucial.
    Don Bergmann

  3. Morley Boyd

    Nice story, Dan. Pam Klomberg, the former chair of the Tree Board was, I believe, an instrumental figure behind the hiring of our terrific new Tree Warden, Bruce Lindsay. She was also responsible, I think, for the greatly improved funding to address the needs of our public trees. With that said, the Marpe administration clearly deserves high marks for its responsiveness and for carrying through on this unglamorous but vital work. While I have recently expressed some concerns about the welfare of our community’s green spaces, stories like this one are quite heartening and demonstrate that the situation is unquestionably changing for the better. And I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that fact.

  4. Sandy Soennichsen

    At least the trees are being cared for now. Good job guys.