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Forum set Saturday on plan to cut down Longshore trees

A public information session is set Saturday morning to discuss the planned removal of 15 large trees along the entrance drive to Longshore Club Park, a project put on hold late last month by First Selectman Jim Marpe.

Marpe had requested a delay in cutting down the trees -- 11 Tulip Poplars and 4 Norway Maples -- so that a written report on the plan by the town's tree warden, Bruce Lindsay, could be completed and submitted to him for review.

The tree-removal plan was criticized by some members of the public when the designated trees were posted prior to being cut down shortly before Christmas. That prompted Marpe to step in and ask for a detailed report before moving ahead.

Now that the report is finished and Lindsay has documented his case for removing the trees, Marpe has set a public meeting -- and tour of the trees in question -- for 9 a.m. Saturday at Longshore.

Lindsay, in his summary, said the "trees in question at Longshore Club Park are in extremely poor health and decline, are of poor species and have unlimited potential targets in a fall or limb break situation."

He said the park is used by many pedestrians and golfers. "The entrance is a roadway to numerous public facilities and homes," he added. "In my finding, these trees represent a hazardous condition for the entry into Longshore Club Park and therefore must be removed to allow safe passage for the beneficial use of the park."

He said that, as tree warden for the town, it's his primary duty to "see that all town-owned roads and grounds allow safe passage."

"Each tree that goes under my scrutiny is assessed as to the potential target it may encounter from branch breakage to dead falls and the potential liability that may be incurred by the town."

A copy of Lindsay's report can be found the town's website here: http://bit.ly/1lAXawa

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