GREENWICH, Conn. — Gary Norman is preserving the greenery of Greenwich, one beech tree at a time.
Some of those trees, particularly the three that are planted in front of Greenwich Academy, have been standing for 150 years and are among the town’s oldest, said Norman, senior arborist at Almstead Tree and Shrub Care Co. That said, they ought to be treated as such.
“It’s rewarding to have the opportunity to keep historic trees in good health by protecting them from things like disease, microclimate change and construction,” Norman said.
He added that when companies launch construction projects, they might not consider the environment, as they should.
The symptoms of a dying tree might then not surface for another five years, and by then it’s too late to save it. That’s why it’s Norman’s job is to prepare the root system beforehand by fertilizing the area with organic materials.
But it’s not just commercial construction that concerns Norman.
“A lot of times, properties change hands and the new owners call for a whole new batch of construction projects,” he said. “Home construction can cause a lot of problems, too.”
Another way Norman preserves the green monuments of Greenwich is through his membership with the Connecticut Tree Protective Association, an organization whose goal is to maintain a positive relationship between arborists, property owners and the environment.
Norman is part of the organization’s safety committee, strategizing with fellow arborists to determine practices that can improve the safety of tree workers, who use heavy-duty wood chippers and chain saws on a daily basis.
Almstead Tree and Shrub Care, which is based in Stamford, has also donated time to environment-friendly groups such as Greenwich Green and Clean and the Greenwich Audubon Society.