People are often fond of saying how things have changed in their lifetime. A white oak tree on Danbury Road, believed to be more than 200 years old — has stood witness to great changes in the town around it since it probably sprouted about the time Wilton became a town in 1802.
The tree was honored as the first to be named to Wilton’s Notable Tree List during an Arbor Day celebration on April 24. Wilton Tree Committee Chair Kate Throckmorton said she was pleased to recognize this tree since the white oak is the state tree.
A hardy band of supporters braved an unseasonable chill to mark Arbor Day with a ceremony at 5 p.m. in Wilton Center. Members of the tree committee and others gathered to hear First Selectman Bill Brennan read a proclamation declaring the day Arbor Day in Wilton.
“This is a matter very close to my heart,” Mr. Brennan said, explaining, “I seem to plant two to three trees on my property every year.”
Chris Lavin of MCL Ventures was named Wilton Tree Steward for 2015, an honorary position, recognizing the company’s cooperation with the town’s tree plan and partnering with the committee to prune older trees in town.
The Notable Tree List is a way to educate Wiltonians about trees in general, and special trees in town, Throckmorton has said.
Community members may nominate trees to be added to the list. Criteria include age, size, rarity, association with an historical event, or tangible value to the community. All nominations will be qualified by the tree warden and tree committee.
The committee also exhibited the tree planting plan for Wilton Center and Merwin Meadows. New trees are planted under a sponsorship program.
More than 30 trees have been sponsored throughout Wilton Center since the tree committee began its tree donation program. New tree sites remain available for sponsorship of a shade tree ($525) or a flowering tree ($325). The cost of sponsorship includes the tree, planting, maintenance, and a marker identifying the tree and person in whose name it was given. Sites are also available for sponsorship of benches ($1,600). The bench sponsorship includes the cost and installation of the bench together with a memorial plaque.
For information about donating a tree or bench or nominating a notable tree, call the Environmental Affairs Office at 203-563-0180 or visit the tree committee website at wiltonct.org/departments/environmental/tree.html.