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Greenwich Tree Warden Gives Old Pine a Reprieve

An old white pine on the grounds of North Street School in Greenwich will not get the ax. The tree had been slated for removal as part of parking lot renovations, but on Monday Tree Warden Bruce Spaman ruled in favor of a neighbor who wanted it saved.

Spaman held a hearing last week prompted by objections from Heather Fargis, whose children attend the school. The tree sits in the path of planned bus lane. A consultant urged that the tree be removed for safety reasons -- he said falling dead branches posed a danger to children -- and to correct drainage problems. Fargis said, “I want to make sure that all efforts are made to save significant trees on site.”

Spaman said the parking lot improvements and drainage work need to take into account the trees that have been part of the landscape for many years. In the notice of his decision Spaman said, “I have determined that the tree is currently in ‘good’ condition with regards to its health and vigor.”

The plan had called for the removal of 14 trees. Spaman said that white pine and all other trees at the site will be protected and treated during and after construction. The warden will also work with the planners to divert any excavation for possible disturbances to tree roots, trunks or limbs. In addition, unnecessary damage done during construction to cause the trees’ premature death within three years of the work may make the contractor liable for a fine of up to three times the trees’ appraised value.

Anyone who objects to Spaman’s decision will have 10 days to appeal to the Stamford Superior Court.

What do you think of the warden’s decision sparing the trees on the school property?

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