Equity One has been pilloried for its excavation work behind Compo Acres Shopping Center. More trees than allowed by permit were demolished to create a level parking lot. The result: more asphalt, and less privacy for neighbors.
But around the corner, the owner is working to save one tree.
Equity One representative Michael Lai told “06880” reader and town activist Morley Boyd that the company considers a massive sycamore — located near the confusing entrances/exit on South Compo and the Post Road — to be a “defining aspect” of the property. Lai said that Equity One takes its stewardship seriously.
Boyd and others were concerned about a “mulch volcano”: the tree-killing layer that was mounded against the trunk, above the natural flare at its base. It arose because untrained landscapers did not realize the tree could suffocate to death.
Equity One hired Bartlett Tree Experts to complete a thorough treatment protocol for the sycamore. It includes feeding, and careful removal of the mulch volcano. Work began over the holiday weekend.
So all is well — except for some bark damage:
Turns out that Lai saw a woman install an advertising sign for a fitness center on the southern face of the tree. He asked her to leave. He did not know it, but damage had already been done.
A portion of bark spawled off. More came down over the next couple of days. Unfortunately, Lai did not get a look at the name of the business.
Fortunately, the bark should mend in time.
Now, if Equity One could only restore the iconic “paint palette” that stood for decades next to the sycamore. It’s been missing for more than a year.