If A Tree Falls…

Ah, spring! All around town, trees burst with life. Lush foliage turns Westport into a green wonderland.

Meanwhile, all around town too, trees are being chopped down.

An alert “06880” reader writes:

You’ve written about the loss of trees on the Merritt Parkway, near Trader Joe’s and at Stop & Shop.

Now there’s a new lane being added to Main Street at Clinton and Compo. For some reason on Easton Road, many new stumps show where mature trees were taken down.

And on single-house development sites, it seems they bulldoze every scrap of vegetation down, to be replaced with a row of small lollipops of boxwood and lawn.

Over the weekend, checking in on my child’s homework at Staples, I was surprised but pleased to see that this was an assigned video:

Seems like Mr. Heaphy is right in step with 3-time Fulbright Award-winning geobiologist/author Hope Jahren.

Last night, my Westport book group unanimously loved her new book, Lab Girl. In the epilogue she says, “Planet Earth is nearly a Dr. Seuss book made real: every year since 1990 we have created more than 8 billion new stumps.”

This morning, the New York Times headline cited global warming as a reason for the frightening increase in wildfires worldwide.

A 3rd reader sent along a photo of this tree -- one of several on Evergreen Avenue slated for removal. The notice says the reason is "storm damage."

A 3rd reader sent along a photo of this tree — one of several on Evergreen Avenue slated for removal. The notice says the reason is “storm damage.”

Another alert “06880” reader — Colleen Zapfel — writes:

I noticed 2 weeks ago that trees lining the south side of Sasco Creek, directly across from the Christmas tree farm between Green’s Farms Road and Beachside Avenue, have been cut down too.

Along with dogs and entitled parkers, trees seem to elicit some of the strongest “06880” comments of any topic. Of course, many Westporters defend tree-cutting, for a variety of reasons.

What do you think? Are we felling too many trees? Are the readers above over-reacting? Click “Comments” to join the discussion.

3 responses to “If A Tree Falls…

  1. Seth Schachter

    Well…………not to defend all of the tree cutting…….but, it wasn’t too long ago that this area was devoid of most trees. The land around us was largely used for farming and agriculture. I’m guessing it took the rise of families moving into the suburbs and the decline of farming that ushered in the period of tree planting. Maybe we are in the early stages of Westport going back to farming ????? — just kidding.

  2. Jamie Walsh

    It is unfortunate when old majestic trees are removed. Many times what we see on the exterior is very different then what is actually going on on the inside the trunks and branches…rot and decay. It is never fun when trees are weak and storms take their toll compromising power lines. We are very lucky to have a great proactive and knowledgable tree warden, Bruce Lindsay, who is very engaged in both the removal of dangerous trees as well as the replacement with new.

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      This is exactly the problem – we need to do tree maintenance as individual property owners, to keep them healthy. Right now, it seems that most just take the approach of only doing maintenance after they’ve caused damage. We have a beautiful dogwood in the front of our house that I’ve been trimming and shaping for the past 13 years, and yet I had no idea that there was rot in the main trunk until a storm this past winter broke off 1/3 of the tree. (Thankfully it fell in a way that caused no damage to persons or property, nor blocked traffic.) Gault wasn’t so lucky earlier this week with the winds we had, as my husband passed one of their work vehicles on South Compo that had been crushed by a fallen branch.