Summer Ends Suddenly At Compo Beach

Alert “06880” readers Steve and Linda Stein were walking at Compo Beach yesterday — the final Sunday of summer.

It was a beautiful day for strolling — but not for the huge shade tree at the jetty near Hillspoint Road.

(Photo/Steve Stein)

(Photo/Steve Stein)

An Eversource crew chopped it down. Apparently, it threatened the 2 power poles nearby.

One of Westport’s most iconic beach views sure looks a bit — um, different.

30 responses to “Summer Ends Suddenly At Compo Beach

  1. oh no! A good stopping point on a walk. Such a beautiful view too! What a shame!

  2. Matthew Mandell

    Yeesh. Did the tree warden know about this specific tree?

    Lewis tree, for CL&P, a few years back came a chopping and reaping on my property after I said ok to trimming. I made them plant new stuff because they were over aggressive. This year they were back. This time I walked the guy around and we discussed the specifics. They were much better.

    But if this tree on the beach could have been trimmed back instead of decapitated, that would have served us all much better. Maybe we at least can use the wood for firewood. A shame.

  3. Julie Van Norden

    Personally I think they’ve got overboard with the tress. Enough already!

  4. We recently had 2 large silver maples removed from our yard. They were old and in partial decay. We are currently replacing them with something substantial and more disease resistant. We had the pleasure of dealing with Bruce Lindsay, Westports Tree Warden, and what a pleasure that experience was. He is a knowledgable professional on top of his game. I am sure if he was aware of it, it was done with great consideration…if not Eversource will probably end up replacing it. Westport also has a proactive approach to replacing trees so this may be a candidate location.

  5. Guess we’re clear cutting the WHOLE town!
    Greens Farms Train Station, Compo Beach…..Barron’s property next?
    Wish there was another solution!

  6. Jill Turner Odice

    That is too bad! I spent many an afternoon sitting under that tree, I always liked that part of the beach…

  7. There was no notice of removal from the warden (or anyone) on the tree. I think a *few* of us might have noticed. Yes sad to remove that corner of shade. Maybe we should “trim” our bill payment to Eversource? I suspect they wouldn’t be impressed.

  8. Janice P. Marcus

    Did Eversource need permission from the Town to remove this tree?
    If so, I’d like to see a statement from the person who okayed this.
    That tree was not only healthy (look at the chopped-up limbs), but also was beautiful and provided much needed shade for many Westporters who love
    the beach but cannot sit in the sun.
    The current Administration in my opinion is insensitive and simply “doesn’t get” what Westport is really about. Many longtime residents like me and my husband (a 1958 Staples High School graduate) are very unhappy about
    all the sudden changes to the appearance and nature of our town.

    Janice Marcus

    • Michael Petrino

      I have lived in Westport for almost 37 years; I would love to hear from you “…what Westport is really about.”

      • Ouch. Really, Petrino? A tad bit thorny (pun intended), me thinks.

        “Almost 37 Years” doesn’t always equate with aesthetic awareness, or community “vibe”, apparently. (Nor, in this case, justifying this obnoxious reply to a local who has an emotional reaction to this tree removal).

        Lighten up, dude.

        • Michael Petrino

          I asked a question. You did not answer it. Why don’t you give it a shot?

        • Nancy Hunter Wilson

          Sharon, while I’m sure that you could win any “debate” with Mr. Petrino, it is wise not to begin. Hopeless, useless, depressing… as depressing as watching the GOP debates. Sigh. Then again, entertaining!

          Honestly, I’d love to meet Mike. I’m guessing that he’s really a nice person.

  9. the trees at the beach provide shade. Or did. If you ever noticed the people
    underneath the trees, you may have noticed that often they were families
    of people who were fishing — for their dinner!

  10. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Couldn’t it have been trimmed instead? No need to take down a healthy tree. Healthy trees are pretty good at withstanding wind storms.

  11. We are reduced to doing a postmortem on a healthy tree that only should have had a hair cut!

  12. Can someone ask the “tree warden” what’s going on with the Eversource clear cutting policy? I don’t expect a town hall meeting in advance of the treework, but what’s the follow-up plan? (Supposedly, there’s going to be a replacement plan for GF train station, approved by the tree warden.)

  13. I am also impressed by Bruce Lindsay’s expertise and openness, so I’d like to know if he was consulted prior to the tree’s cutting. I suspect not; in the past the state has given Eversource the authority to chop as it sees fit. In any event, residents should minimally been informed and better yet, consulted, before the event.

  14. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    As an outsider, I’m confused about what Westport does control.
    Not roads and bridges, not parks, not school hiring, not trees?
    If so, what role does the Mayor/First Selectman take?

    These basics seem to run on a merry-go-round of complaints (like the bad parking and driving stories). I’d like to know if things are really as awful as they sound (from faraway), or not, and easily fixed.

  15. I always wondered how long that tree would last. There was a grouping of sumacs on that corner that came from a tree 5 times that size on the old Schlaet estate. They did a good job anchoring that corner. Now is a great time to do that corner properly with a well chosen tree!

  16. Whatever went on here, one can be sure that our Tree Warden would not have green lighted anything that was unwarranted or inappropriate. We have a lot of truly great employees working for us in this town – and among them Mr. Lindsay is easily one of the most informed and responsive that I have ever known.

    • Nancy Hunter Wilson

      Still, faulty communication somewhere along the line.
      Surely, the Westport News is still in business (and online), Westport Now, 06880. Posted Council minutes?
      Maybe Inklings has more community info?

      People can choose to be in the dark.

    • Morley — agreed on Mr. Lindsay’s expertise. Just asking whether Bruce was consulted about this or if Eversource just has its own form of “eminent domain” over town foliage. Cut down now, deal with the fallout later.

  17. I miss the tree too.
    We ran into an Eversource tree person on our recent walk and grilled him about that tree. He claims the tree was rotted on the mid to top, perhaps not evident to you and me, but it was decayed. It’s removal was reviewed and approved by our tree warden (I have dealt with our tree warden and believe he would not ok the removal without cause)

    Let’s encourage our park and rec dept to replace it with something hardy in a spot that will not grow into eversouce’s wires.

  18. Loretta Hallock

    One of the nicest spots to sit and have some shade at Compo. What is wrong with these people!!
    I spoke to Lewis tree workers and even made a phone call which was never returned . I understand trimming, but they cut much too much of the low brush across the street from my home which was not necessary. It looked like a hurricane went through. It also serves as a noise barrier in our area.

  19. That looks as ugly as Greens Farms Station.

  20. if our Tree Warden was involved it was removed for a good reason. Yes it sucks, but it can and I am sure will be replaced. If it was rotted and somehow fell on someone…the entire content and tone of this thread would be much different.

  21. Charlie Haberstroh

    I’d like to clarify this matter. It was the Westport’s tree warden who evaluated and determined that the tree was dead, posted “blue ribbons” on the tree in mid summer and arranged to take the tree down to avoid any hazards to the public (cars, pedestrians, joggers, bicycles) in accordance with policy. Eversource had nothing to do with this. Secondly, the Town considers trees a precious commodity, which is why it has and will continue to put trees downtown, why Parks and Rec has a policy to replace every tree cut down with two new trees and why we have spend several thousands of dollars to try to save one of the 100 year old beech trees at Longshore. We will look to replace this tree with an appropriate tree (BTW the tree that was cut down was an invasive tree) in the near future.

    Charlie Haberstroh
    Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman.

    • Thanks for the clarification, Charlie. On the bright side, it’s terrific that so many people on DW’s blog are engaged and involved in preserving the town’s one-of-a-kind natural beauty.

  22. Will P&R plant something at that site, or is the 2-for-1 an in-total effort, throughout the whole Westport parks network? Replacing “on that site” in the near future?

    While invasive species are an issue (maybe town will start pulling mile-o-minute vines?), that would seem to be the least of concerns with a tree that had been here as long as that one.