Woodman Does Not Spare Longshore Trees

The Longshore Capital Improvement Plan — including pickleball courts; a new golf clubhouse; renovations to the tennis courts, pool and playground, and more — will take 10 years to complete. 

If it’s approved by the appropriate town bodies, funded, and not altered along the way.

Of more immediate concern are Longshore’s trees. 

Alert reader Clarence Hayes writes:

I am perplexed by the seemingly random cutting of trees at Longshore Park this winter.

Virtually all of them were healthy. When I examined the cut trunks, there are no signs of disease. They were not interfering with the road.

Some seemed entirely gratuitous exercises in tree mutilation, in which main branches I knew to be fully healthy were cut off for at best someone’s idea of symmetry, in locations where no people or traffic go.

I know that at least a couple were selected by Westport’s tree warden, since there were notices posted on the trees saying the warden had condemned the tree. All of them appear to be on Longshore park property, which leads me to conclude that all of them were based on the tree warden decision, or if not the warden, then the Parks & Recreation Department.

There are several cuts of 150-plus-year-old trees just off the golf course parking lot that are not near anything. It is bizarre why they were cut.

“06880” emailed Parks & Recreation Department director Jen Fava, and tree warden Ben Sykas, for comments. Neither replied.

(“06880 keeps an eye on trees — and the rest of Westport. Please click here to help support our work. Thank you!)

15 responses to “Woodman Does Not Spare Longshore Trees

  1. I would like to know why also. I know people who cut trees because they’re leaning a little. Please give trees a chance.

  2. Kevin McCaul

    Shorehaven Golf Club in East Norwalk removed many trees too. Now it looks like one playing golf on a Scotland or Ireland course.

  3. Janet Amadio

    Why do they have such authority to indiscriminately chop down healthy trees for no obvious reason?. Where is accountability? Where is the supervision of these decision makers? Why are their decisions not challenged?

  4. Fava & Sykas should respond with complete information or resign 🇺🇸

  5. don Sheila bergmann

    Tom Feeley is correct. The Town deserves a response from its leadership.
    Don Bergmann

  6. Sal liccione

    Hi all I just sent a email to town hall Just now ok let’s see if they get back to me or anyone ok From sal liccione

    • Paul Brunetti

      …hope you didn’t send an email written like that.

      The trees in question from what I understood speaking to a couple employees today were in fact hit with a horrible insect/bug.

  7. Russell Gontar

    It’ll take 10 years to complete the longshore improvement plan.

    A long time ago, in a distant galaxy, a president promised to land a man on the moon and safely return him to earth within 10 years even though his vision at that time was nothing more than words. He had no idea if he could actually achieve his goal or not, yet, this nation delivered on that promise.

    I’ll check back in 10 years to see if the Westport Longshore Club Park achieves its goal.

  8. Kevin Pierce

    From the photos posted here it appears most of these trees cut were exhibiting codominant tree growth structures. This type of growth creates structural stability issues for the trees and if allowed to persist, results in the ultimate failure of the trees. Not only can that be a safety issue but these failures normally strip the tree of their bark basically sealing their fate. As for the first picture showing the older tree, cutting the bottom heavy growth is an attempt to save the overall tree and keep the bark from stripping. Link below for some more info…


  9. Looks like Fava and Sykas are Westport’s Pete Buttageigs‼️
    No shows😂😂😂

  10. Sally Palmer

    If Parks and Rec is so keen on using saws, they should send some to Winslow Park to clean up the many fallen and damaged trees there.

  11. Stacy Prince

    I just want to say that, from everything I know about him (he used to work for my former arborist), Ben Sykas loves trees and does not do anything without due consideration. I hope information is forthcoming that will put everyone’s mind at ease.


    Dan grabbed only a couple of my photos.
    The picture of the older tree was not included to show work already done – that tree is marked to be cut down completely.
    I had photos of the trunks of 4 full grown trees cut down in the past six months which were not of the co-dominant growth variety – but of the ‘undiseased 150 year old tree’ cut for who knows what reason. The first picture Dan included doesn’t do justice to what was cut. That bottom cut was a long horizontal branch over the sand which my grandkids loved to play on when they would visit the playground by the sailing school. It was in perfect condition, not in the way of anything, and not a ‘co-dominant root’. It offended someone’s sense of what a proper tree should look like, I guess. But my grandkids were shocked when they went to climb on it – and it wasn’t there.

  13. Carl Addison Swanson, SHS, 66

    Oh, half this town needs a good trim. Check out the overhanging trees on many of busy road ways. As for the reference comment regarding Longshore to a Scottish course, IT IS a links course. The wind is your enemy not trees. FORE!!!

    • joshua stein

      Just because they are overhanging does not mean they are an issue. Do you know how large a healthy root structure is in the ground?