Tree Warden Announces Decision on Mature Oak on Greenwich Ave to Make Way for Intersection Upgrades

Last Thursday a Zoom tree hearing was held during which Greenwich Tree Warden Dr. Greg Kramer and DPW engineer Jason Kaufman defended the need to cut down a mature 16″ Pin Oak on Greenwich Ave (by TD Bank) to make way for a handicapped ramp as part of intersection improvements.

The improvements are intended to make the intersection safer for pedestrians given police are no longer stationed to direct traffic from 9-5, to calm traffic and to add green space.

Despite numerous residents questioning the need to cut down the tree, including two people from the Greenwich Community Projects Fund, leaders of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, a landscape architect and a neighboring landlord who said she had not been informed of the plans for the tree, the tree warden announced his decision that the tree will be cut down.

Residents offered to pay any additional expense to come up with a different location for the ramp, and pointed out that it does not block sight lines for drivers.

They also complained that during numerous public meetings where the intersection was presented as a pilot for multiple intersections on the Avenue, the need to cut down the tree was never mentioned.

The East Elm Street intersection is a pilot that will be applied to other intersections on Greenwich Avenue. Jan 27, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager
Rendering from Town of Greenwich website of the intersection improvements.

In his decision published Monday, Kramer said that removal will only be granted to the DPW with the agreement that in conjunction with the construction improvements at the intersection that seven new trees be planted on Greenwich Ave or in close proximity, such as intersections with the Ave.

Of the seven new trees, five will be planted into newly created tree wells at locations to be determined and two trees will be planted into the newly created planting beds at the intersection of the Ave and Elm Street.

All even trees are to be no less than 3″ in caliper and the species will be willow oak.

The new tree well locations will need to be cited, approved and within accordance to the Town of Greenwich tree policy before the pin oak is removed.

During a presentation in October, DPW deputy commissioner Jim Michel said the project would begin in March and be completed by Memorial Day.

(More details on the intersection project are available on the town website.)

See also:

Tree Hearing: Residents Urge Compromise to Spare Mature Oak Tree on Greenwich Ave

Feb 25, 2021