Trees throughout town in peril

More than 20 trees in Wilton are in need of attention, according to a report presented at the Wilton Tree Committee’s July 11 meeting.

The report was prepared by Wilton Tree Warden Lars Cherichetti and Deputy Tree Warden Nick Lee following a tree observation walk.

All but one of the 21 trees in the report — a “broken” maple tree at the intersection of Old Driftway and Cheese Spring Road that’s in need of pruning and brush removal — were inspected in early June and are in need of removal.

The trees are prioritized based on the “likelihood of failure,” Cherichetti told The Bulletin, and the priorities “take into account both the condition of the tree and public safety.”

“The tree risk is a combination of the consequences of a part or all of the tree falling, and the likelihood of the tree falling,” he said. “The consequences of a tree falling in a meadow are low, whereas the consequences of the same size tree falling on a busy sidewalk may be severe.”

The report includes eight “medium” priority trees, 11 “high” priority trees, and one “very high” priority tree — a dead black birch tree at 5 Powder Horn Hill Road that’s “leaning over the road,” Cherichetti told The Bulletin.

The “high” priority trees include:

  • One northern red oak with basal decay on Catalpa Road.

  • One dead American white ash and one dead blue spruce on Cherry Lane.

  • Three dead American white ashes at Cherry Lane and Dudley Road.

  • One dead American white ash tree on Dudley Road.

  • Two dead American white ashes and a dead northern red oak on Sturges Ridge Road.

  • One northern red oak tree with basal decay on Twin Oak Lane.

“It is most likely that all of the ash trees listed were killed by the emerald ash borer,” Cherichetti told The Bulletin.

The “medium” priority trees include three dead hemlocks and one dead white pine on Warncke Road and four dead hemlocks on Old Grumman Hill Road.

The Wilton Department of Public Works has been “making progress against the list of trees needing attention,” according to the tree committee’s meeting minutes. Cherichetti said highest-priority trees are being addressed first.

“More resources have been directed to the problem of dead trees along the roadsides this spring to address the considerable backlog,” said Cherichetti.