Tag Archives: Longshore trees

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!)

New Life For Old Trees

Last January, tree warden Bruce Lindsay determined that some of the mature trees in the beloved entrance drive to Longshore had reached the end of their useful lives. For safety reasons, they had to go.

This being Westport, the decision created a firestorm (figuratively). Many folks lamented the loss of the iconic and beautiful trees. Many others pointed out that nothing lasts forever — and that, though beautiful, they’d become dangerous.

The Longshore entrance road, several years ago.

The Longshore entrance road, several years ago.

The discussion on “06880” was robust. Amid the fury, several commenters suggested that the trees be repurposed for furniture, benches or in other useful ways.

The trees were removed. The entryway still looks great, thanks to the foresight of Parks and Recreation officials 20 years ago who planted replacement trees near the older ones they knew would eventually go.

Now the old trees are back — just as some smart Westporters suggested.

Tomorrow (Monday, November 10, 2 p.m.), a hand-crafted bench repurposed from those trees will be dedicated at the Westport Library, near the copy center. A pictorial exhibit depicts the entire process.

A repurposed table on display in the library.

The repurposed bench on display in the library…

Lindsay, First Selectman Jim Marpe, library director Maxine Bleiweis and “furniture artist” Zeb Essylstyn will answer questions.

Unlike most old trees — which end up in landfill or as mulch — the Longshore specimens live on handsomely. Essylstyn’s Higganum, Connecticut-based company City Bench created 2 tables, plus the library bench. The tables are on display at Town Hall.

...and the Town Hall table.

…and the Town Hall table.

All are on sale to the public. So are additional pieces that City Bench will create. A portion of the proceeds goes to the town’s Tree Fund, to support further plantings.

If you want to buy a table or bench, email info@city-bench.com, or call 860-716-8111.

To simply admire them, head to the library or Town Hall.