The Palm Tree Lives!

When I posted yesterday’s photo of a palm tree that appeared suddenly last Friday at Compo Beach near Ned Dimes Marina, I thought it was just a cute little piece.

More than a dozen readers responded. Most loved it.

Charlie Haberstroh did not. The chair of Westport’s Parks and Recreation Commission commented:

Just to be clear, it was not planted by the Parks and Rec Department nor was it by the Tree Warden. Hopefully, whoever planted it will remove it and save the tree.


One view of the palm tree … (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris)

When I heard the back story (Butchie Izzo planted it as a replacement for a tree that died) — and posted it this morning — I figured folks would be amused.

Very quickly, over 40 “06880” readers added their thoughts. All of them love the palm tree. It’s fun; it’s quirky; it was done by a great guy, with a huge Westport heart.

Haberstroh heard you.

… and another. (Photo/Randy Christophersen)

A few minutes ago, he wrote:

Since the tree is a replacement for a tree originally planted with town authorization, we have decided to let the palm tree stand. It will replaced by Butchie by contract in the fall. Enjoy!


Score one for Westport.

For Butchie Izzo.

And for our friends on the Parks and Rec Commission, who will hopefully enjoy our special palm tree with the rest of us, all summer long.

36 responses to “The Palm Tree Lives!

  1. Barbara Sherburne '67

    What a wonderful outcome, and Yay, Westport!

  2. Tracy Flood


  3. Susan Iseman

    Good! Look like some fun “photo opps” under the palm tree…..Happy Fourth, Butchie- nice job!

  4. Did the Board meet about this weighty topic, or was this a Royal We?

  5. well done!! #keepthepalm

  6. Michael Calise

    Thanks Charlie, Dan and Butchie a team for Westport!

  7. Arline Gertzoff

    The Palm tree sure beats the idiot who parked on the sidewalk and it will create some fun photo oppsI hope it will have a new home in the fall

  8. Stephen Silver

    Thank you Dan for having such a wonderful format that let’s the public opinion be heard.

  9. YAY!!

  10. Charlie Haberstroh

    Peter, Obviously I consulted with Jen Fava, Jim Marpe and Bruce Lindsay who were all on board, sort of speak…

    • Elizabeth Thibault

      Charlie, Thank you for doing the legwork to get conversations started to have the original removal order rescinded. This will give our beach an added bit of whimsy this summer and add to the character while it graces the area!

  11. Richard A. Epstein

    Remember the Palm Tree in Mr. Roberts!

  12. Mitch Barns

    I like it!

  13. Just waiting for one of our bright science students come up with a biosphere to keep the palm tree thriving year around. Westport’s very own Christmas/Hanukkah palm tree!

  14. Michelle Cardello


  15. Julie Fatherley

    Thanks to Charlie for having a breadth of spirit to rise to this special
    occasion but do hope it will not create a trend. Love what the town tree warden is doing. Eager to see the change at Baron’s south I hike almost
    everyday. Good environmental things going on all over town.
    Hooray to all those forces involved. Julie Fatherley

    • Jamie Walsh

      Absolutely Agree Julie with the exception of some of those that sit on the ALT Board. Sad that a few bad actors are contributing negatively to the preserves they are sworn to protect by unceremoniously unseating, Lisa Brodlie, the most effective VP of land management ALT has ever had.

  16. Nancy Hunter

    I still don’t understand. Is this a disposable tree come fall?
    What is the “replacement” tree? Will it, too, be disposable?

  17. Susan Saracena

    Like the palm tree.

  18. Theresa Kovacs

    Love, love, the palm tree…Thanks Butchie!

  19. Mary Cookman Schmerker '58

    Score another one for 06880. Well done.

  20. Diane Silfen

    That is a good thing. And no big arguments

  21. Nancy Hunter

    So, it really is plastic? Makes sense.

  22. Bruce Courcier

    A rare sensible decision made by municipality

  23. Bunny Franco

    I love it!

    Sent from my iPhone


  24. J.W. Kaempfer

    H Dan, please tell the Westport bureaucrats to relax and enjoy it.

  25. How did Butchie ever dig into that sand? There are a few rocks there…
    Love the palm, BTW!

  26. Barb Stephen

    Oh, thank you, ye ole’ knowledgeable and rightly, right Parks & Rec. So sayeth then: Let Us Rejoice and be grateful. Thanks, Mr.Izzo:)!

  27. Karen Brewer

    I loved this story. Was reading on the train home from NYC and laughing when I looked up and saw …..


    Couldn’t figure out how to add the photo to my post so I’m emailing it instead ☺

  28. As my late mother Pat Horrigan used to say, “There is no accounting for taste.” She put together many a lovely picnic near that spot on Compo Beach. She was an avid gardener with respect and love for the Connecticut landscape–its native plants and coastal views. It’s a travesty that this eyesore will remain simply because of a few cheerers-on in a social media platform. It’s even worse that these days, a lot of decisions that affect us all get made this way. To this I’ll add another favorite exclamation of my mom: “Ick!”

    • Nancy Hunter

      I agree with you, Alice. As my mom still says, “This, too, shall pass.”

  29. Frank Spero


  30. Already have my photo with the REAL palm tree. It’s great. Only in Westport!!!!!

  31. Michael Elliot

    Ms. Horrigan, as my late mother Rita Elliot would say…….”oh piffle” in resonse to your comment. Love the palm, love the town, love the whimsy provided by Mr. Izzo a doer of good deeds both great and small!

  32. Terry Anzalone

    Thank-you Butchie!!
    Nice job.