Greenwich Tree Warden Rules on Removal of 188 Trees at Central Middle School

Decision from the town of Greenwich Tree Warden, Dr. Greg Kramer following public hearing on the fate of 188 trees at Central Middle School

As required by Chapter 451, Section 23-59 of the Connecticut General Statutes, a public hearing was scheduled as an appeal objecting to the removal of 188  trees at 9 Indian Rock Lane (Central Middle School) that received within allotted 10 days of the tree postings.

The trees were posted for removal on April 24, 2024, and a virtual public hearing was held on Wednesday May 15, 2024, at 11 :00am.

The request for removal was made by the Town of Greenwich, Board of Education.

The trees number, species, and Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) measured in inches requested for removal attached.

On the day of the Tree Hearing SLAM landscape architects, Central Middle School Committee Members, security, law officers, school administrators, parents and residents spoke to design, safety and function of the newly designed school and landscape.

The focus was how all 188 trees posted were necessary for removal. This would include all of the older significant trees that reside in the front of the school on the existing rock outcrop. The landscape plan has been well vetted and the landscape architects have been responsive to change requests in plant material.

Thus, as Tree Warden I will grant the removal of all 188 trees with the following conditions:

1) There is to be a two-year maintenance agreement with the contractor that will
provide watering for all of the landscape material for two years starting from the
first planting and only ending after two years from when the last plant is planted.
This is to also include providing any horticultural needs within the same timeline
deemed or determined necessary by the Parks & Tree Dept staff.

All plantings are to be free of weeds at all times.

The agreement for this term is to be in writing and provided to the Department of Parks and Recreation and Planning and Zoning Department.



2) Vegetation replacement which includes 306 trees is to be planted according to the agreed landscape plan. Any changes to numbers, sizes, species, variety, or location is to be discussed with the Tree Warden and approved prior to making changes.

3) There is to be a landscaping budget line item created, and the monies allocated are funding specific to landscaping. The budgeted money would be held in escrow and can be retained by the Department of Parks and Recreation – Parks and Trees Division.

4) Tree survey number 1459 is listed as a two 2-inch caliper Bald Cypress. This tree should be transplanted and either incorporated into the landscape design or moved off the property to one of the Town of Greenwich Parks at the discretion of the Tree

5) Construction staging is to be away from all remaining trees and extensive guidelines will need to be implemented and enforced in order to protect remaining trees. Plans need to be shared with the Tree Warden prior to staging approval (as per the Specifications for The Protection of Shade Trees During Construction Revised: February 2016).

6) Posted trees approved for removal should remain in the landscape as long and feasible as possible in order to maximize their continuing environmental benefits.

This is the final decision of the Tree Warden of the Town of Greenwich. Let it be known that Chapter 451, Section 23-59 of the Connecticut General Statutes states “the Tree Warden shall render his/her decision granting or denying the application, and the party aggrieved by such decision may, within 10 days, appeal to the superior court or the judicial district within which such town or borough is located.

This decision will be posted in the lobby of the offices of the Parks and Recreation Department located on the 2nd floor of the Town Hall, the lobby of Town Hall, the Town Clerk’s office, and the Town of Greenwich website Parks & Recreation – Public Tree Hearing.

It will also be sent to persons present at the Public Hearing and to those who appealed the posting of these trees for removal.

As your Tree Warden, by Connecticut statute, I am charged with the “care and control” of all town-owned trees. 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.

See also:

“Safety First” is Refrain at Hearing on Fate of Rock Outcropping and 188 Trees at Central Middle School

May 16, 2024

State Rep Arzeno Credits “Playing by the Rules” for House Delegation’s Successful 20% CMS State Reimbursement  

May 14, 2024

Following Assessment of CMS Physical Condition, School is Closed

Feb 2022

UPDATED: Cracks in New Locations Revealed at CMS after Earthquake

April 6, 2024

P&Z Watch: Commission Unanimously Approves CMS Municipal Improvement; Moves Site Plan to Final

October 2023