Questions raised over proposed tree removal

Residents were given the opportunity to voice their concerns. Some proposed that the trees be removed over the next five years and others questioned why they had to be uprooted at all. Ultimately, the choice will be up to Bruce Lindsay, the tree warden. While Lindsay does not legally have the final say, as parks are not considered town property that is under his jurisdiction, the Department of Parks and Recreation has turned to him for advice and said they will follow through with whatever plan he proposes.

Despite the fog and bad weather, local representatives and citizens gathered on Jan. 11 on the Longshore Golf Course to discuss the slated removal of 15 iconic trees that line the driveway.

The town-owned club park, which features a golf course, swimming pools, tennis courts and ice skating rink, is known for its tree-lined drive, but Bruce Lindsay, the town Tree Warden, has determined that some of the oldest trees, which are believed to have been planted around the turn of the 20th century, pose a threat to safety.

Lindsay and First Selectman Jim Marpe received criticism from community members who felt the decision to cut down the trees was too rushed.

Nathan Francis ’14 attended the meeting and said he agrees with the warden’s decision.

“It turned into a bit of an unorganized rant of the people who don’t want the trees cut down,” he said. “People were just questioning the responsibilities and powers of the tree warden, criticizing town officials and overall just voicing opinions loudly.”

In an effort to educate the public on his decision, Lindsay published a report and held this meeting, where he said anywhere from three to ten sick or damaged trees have been removed each year and that the remaining ones must go before they injure joggers, walkers or golfers.

“The prudent thing would be to remove all the trees at this point,” he said. “These trees are ready to go and ready to be removed.”

Hannah Malowitz ’15 said she believes the town will make the right decision.

“If they are confident in their decision, then I am sure that they have done enough research to know that it is the best choice for everyone’s safety,” she said.