MORE BREAKING NEWS: Prospect Road Tree Cutting Underway

Just seconds after I posted a report from Prospect Road — noting that a tree crew was on hand to cut a stand of old oak trees, overhanging Mark Donovan’s Prospect Road property, with the Donovans sitting underneath attempting to stop it — Mark sent me a video.

It’s just 35 seconds long. At the start, a contractor uses a chainsaw on one of the trees.

A worker begins using his chainsaw.

Twenty-five seconds in, it begins to topple.

By the end, the tree has fallen.

It is expected that more oaks will be cut soon.

18 responses to “MORE BREAKING NEWS: Prospect Road Tree Cutting Underway

  1. Heartbreaking. But why would a developer care?

  2. this is an outrage. heartbreaking.

  3. Michelle Fracasso

    Oak trees support an incredible amount of biodiversity and are integral to the food chain of threatened species. Not sure who made this decision, but I applaud the owners for trying to save these trees.

  4. Cornelia Fortier

    Very sad but definitely how the story was always going to end. Drive around town and you see it is happened or has all over. I’m impressed that this situation got this much attention.

  5. I’m guessing that with the size of the lot, between more clearing, the excavating, and the new construction, this area will be a nonstop zone of unpleasant noise for the next 2 years. Just to add injury to insult.

  6. sarah kerstin gross

    there should be an ordinance against this !!! HEARTLESS & HEARTBREAKING

  7. Werner Liepolt

    Criminal! And if it isn’t it oughta be.

    Get on the ball RTM and P&Z before we’re living in a treeless, toxic, cacophonous fog.

  8. Nauseating. What a culture.

  9. Bill Strittmatter

    Sad that old trees are being cut down. I’m curious where the estimate of 300 years came from though. I though almost all of southwest CT had been clear cut for farming in the 1800’s.

  10. DOES THE

  11. Scott R. Smith

    A comment on an earlier post suggested Westporters reach out to Norwalk for advice in setting up a Tree Commission. The nonprofit I work for, Friends of Animals, is active on this front. Here’s a link to a recent article, “Leave Trees Standing,” which has advice on how a town can fight off developers with an effective, volunteer-led Tree Commission with teeth:

    “The five-member volunteer committee appointed by the mayor is working with city leaders on a “more enlightened” tree ordinance to reflect that allowing a developer or utility company to replace a fully mature tree with a sapling is no longer acceptable. It will also require developers to protect a tree’s root zone during construction and to post a bond before work begins…”

    BTW, how long has our current tree warden been living in Vermont? Who in town hall signed off on him working remotely? And hired as his replacement a guy whose “day” job is cutting down trees for private interests? That’s real fox-guarding-henhouse territory.

  12. Just to add a tiny bit of perspective on these trees, when a squirrel planted those acorns 250 – 300 years ago, America was still a colony. Replacing these magestic oaks with saplings is hardly an even trade for the displaced birds, animals, and beneficial insects that have made homes in those trees for decades.

  13. Deirdre Kilshannig

    The developers, Coastal Construction, said they saved a sycamore once – that is good, but not good enough, they can do better – these majestic oaks aren’t even in the way of the next giant blob house about to be built.

  14. David J. Loffredo

    I’m all for saving the trees, we sure spent a small fortune with CT Arborist over 20 years protecting ours in Indian Hill Road.

    BUT – NO CHANCE your trees are 300 years old, they might be 100 years old. Maybe. Attached is a photo from 1934. It’s pretty cool and there are a ton more in the State’s archives.

    You can see all the roads – Hillspoint on the far left, where Greens Farms crosses, and Prospect from that. It was all farm land when this photo was taken 87 years ago, with a few trees acting as boundaries. But I’ll venture a guess that those boundary trees weren’t 200 year old Oaks when this photo was taken.

    Anyways, good luck, developers suck.


  15. If the trees are on the property line, don’t the Donovans have any say in this?

  16. Two reviews on Google Maps

    George Saterson

    7 months ago
    Coastal should be embarrassed, as should the new home owners at 4 Pequot Trail in Westport, CT for allowing them to denude a wonderful property of all but 1 mature trees. One. They say they are building a small house, but even if it was a HUGE house, they did not have to kill all the trees. The LEAST environmentally sensitive developer I have ever seen.

    Bill Kutik

    just now
    The tragedy of Pequot Trail is being repeated at this very moment at 16 Prospect Road. Four enormous trees sit right at the property line near a stone wall and well within the setback limitations. Why are they being cut down? Because they might fall over, Joe Lieb told lead local blogger Dan Woog? Find me a tree in Westport that might not fall over.

    Clearly, reviewer George Saterson was right seven months ago. Coastal seems to have no sense of the environment, despite claims to the contrary to Dan Woog. Like so many other home builders, they want a completely empty patch of dirt to build on, no matter that the house, garage, driveway, parking and even a pool will take up one-third of the desert they have created.

    Please post the arborist’s report, Joe, that told you these mighty oak trees were more in danger of falling down than any other oak in town. It’s a great native species by the way, what kind of saplings are you planning to plant on the empty lot? And they will take them how many years to get that big?

  17. It seems so unnecessary to clearcut entire lots like this. And the lot looks pretty large, too.. Why do developers think that homebuyers would not prefer beautiful old growth, majestic trees like these surrounding their beautiful new homes? I would venture that such a property would sell for more with old growth trees if it’s done properly. It may not be possible to accommodate all of the existing trees but clearcutting seems so unnecessary… it seems callous and disrespectful.

    The beauty of our community is shaped by trees like these not to mention their importance to the overall ecosystem (that goes beyond the immediate property lines). I don’t have all the facts but for the Coastal guy to simply state that they “determined the roots of the trees would be severely compromised” doesn’t quite cut it. If he really professes to care about old growth trees like these then maybe try harder and design the house and lot layout to avoid compromising the root system of a majestic old oak. And then take credit for doing so.. In the end, I think it would be good for business and the community.