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Tree Warden Gives Decision Regarding Binney Park Trees

Town of Greenwich Tree Warden Bruce Spaman shows the standing room only crowd in attendance a map of the area in Binney Park were 20 trees are planned to be removed and new trees will be replanted. (Paul Silverfarb photo)

By Paul Silverfarb
Sentinel Editor

Town of Greenwich residents made their voices heard last week during the hearing held by the Department of Parks and Recreating in regards to the removal of 20 trees at Binney Park.

And Greenwich Tree Warden Bruce Spaman obviously listened, as the final decision on the trees was handed down Tuesday late afternoon.

“Based on my research of the circumstances associated with these trees, and taking into account the concerns of parties present at the public hearing and correspondence received, my decision is not to remove all of the 20 trees as the proposed but to gradually phase in the tree removals over the next two to three years and require the immediate replacement of any trees removed with tree species tolerant of a wet environment,” said Spaman in a press release sent to the Sentinel.

The original plan was to have 20 trees, many of which are crab apple trees, to be removed immediately and replaced, as part of the Binney Park master plan.

In total, 20 trees were reviewed and are shown in the map of Binney Park that the Town of Greenwich provided and is included in this article.

Below is a listing of trees that were in question and they are also numbered on the map below the tree listing:

Tree 1-3: (crab apple) To be removed only when plans for the formal garden is approved and funded

Tree 4: (sugar maple) To be removed only when plans for the formal garden is approved and funded

Tree 5: (crab apple) To be removed in Spring 2019 and immediately replaced with an ornamental tree tolerant of a wet environment

Tree 6: (crab apple) To be removed in either 2020 or 2021 and immediately replaced with an ornamental tree

Tree 7: (crab apple) To be removed in Spring 2019 and immediately replaced with an ornamental tree tolerant of a wet environment

Tree 8: (crab apple) To be removed in either 2020 or 2021 and immediately replaced with an ornamental tree tolerant of a wet environment; timing subject to approval by the Tree Warden

Tree 9: (dogwood) Remove in Spring 2019 and replace immediately

Tree 10-11: (crab apple) To be removed only when plans for the formal garden is approved and funded

Tree 12: (crab apple) To be removed in Spring 2019 and immediately replaced with a shade tree tolerant of a wet environment

Tree 13: (crab apple) To be removed in either 2020 or 2021 and immediately replaced with a shade tree tolerant of a wet environment; timing subject to approval by the Tree Warden

Tree 14: (crab apple) To be removed in Spring 2019 and immediately replaced with a shade tree tolerant of a wet environment

Tree 15: (crab apple) To be removed in either 2020 or 2021 and immediately replaced with an ornamental tree tolerant of a wet environment; timing subject to approval by the Tree Warden

Tree 16: (crab apple) To be removed in Spring 2019 and immediately replaced with a shade tree tolerant of a wet environment

Tree 17: (crab apple) To be removed in either 2020 or 2021 and immediately replaced with an ornamental tree tolerant of a wet environment; timing subject to approval by the Tree Warden

Tree 18: (crab apple) To be removed in Spring 2019 and immediately replaced with a shade tree tolerant of a wet environment

Tree 19: (red cedar) NOT to be removed at this time (note: there is a pending proposed replacement bridge design and construction which may impact this tree in the future

Tree 20: (hemlock) Remove Spring 2019 due to poor condition

In addition, Spaman’s press release stated that it is further noted that even additional shade trees, tolerant of a wet environment, will be planted in the Spring and Summer of 2019 along Park Road from the position of Tree 18 north to the tennis courts.

During the hearing on Feb. 26, Greenwich residents were able to speak their mind to Spaman, Deputy Tree Warden Steve Gospodinoff and Parks Operations Manager Darrin Wigglesworth about their concerns in removing the 20 trees located in Binney Park

“As your Tree Warden, by Connecticut statute, I am charged with the ‘care and control’ of all town-owned trees,” Spaman said. “The Tree Division doesn’t take this responsibility lightly. Each and every tree slated for removal is inspected and decided on a case-by-case basis.”

According to the press release, the trees were recommended to be removed in accordance with the master plan prepared by Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture, LLC and submitted to the Town of Greenwich in July 2015. The plan was accepted by the Town of Greenwich Board of Parks and Recreation, the Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Board of Selectmen.

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