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Tree Commission Minutes 01/21/2010
Minutes of a meeting of
The Old Lyme Tree Commission
January 21, 2010

Regular members present: Anne Bing, Joanne DiCamillo, Emily Griswold
Alternate members present: Pat Moll
Members absent: Tom Degnan (ex-officio), Joan Flynn (alternate)

A quorum being present, Chairman Joanne DiCamillo called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM.  

Pat Moll was authorized to vote in place of Gerry Foster.

Gerry Foster arrived at 4:45 P.M.

Guests: Terry Holcombe, Tony Hendricks, Jeff Flower, John Rhodes, David Sousa, Ellis Jewett, Bob Pierson, David Jewett

Clerk’s Report
The minutes of the 12/17/09 regular meeting were reviewed.
Pat Moll made a motion, seconded by Anne Bing to accept the minutes as presented. All present voted in favor.

Budget Report
Mrs. DiCamillo reported that the balance in the General Fund (Tree Commission and Public Works) was $21,409.12           as of December 31, 2009. Expenditures were Clerk, $75; Tree Warden, $750; Wilcox Tree Service, $600 (for tree trimming on Ferry Road and Lyme Street authorized by Selectman Griswold).

John Rhodes – Director of Facilities – Regional District 18
Presentation of landscape plan for high school entrance driveway
Landscape architect David Sousa presented the new landscaping and planting plan for the high school entrance driveway. The plan includes a combination of 42 deciduous and evergreen native plants (witch hazel, shadblow, inkberry, fothergilla, red cedar and American holly). The existing white pines will be removed; the mature oaks, maples and hemlocks will remain in place.
Mr. Hendricks, who is the adjoining property owner on the north side of the entrance road, commented that he would like the same amount of screening that is there now, especially in the area between the top of his fence and the existing tree canopy near Lyme Street. He would prefer to have evergreen, and not deciduous, trees screening that area. Mrs. DiCamillo suggested substituting Ilex for the deciduous shrubs. Mr. Sousa and Mr. Hendricks were in agreement with the recommendation. Mr. Hendricks stated that he had spoken to Jeff Flower, a member of the High School Building Committee, about making the entrance to the high school road as large as possible to accommodate the necessary turning radius. He would like to have his own driveway, which is right next to the entrance road, included in the apron (which also includes the Firehouse driveway). Mr. Hendricks also requested removal of the very large pines growing adjacent to the back of his property.
Mrs. DiCamillo noted that an Ailanthus (an invasive tree) growing in a clump with two maples in the front corner
boundary of Lyme Street and Mr. Hendricks’s driveway will also be removed.
Terry Holcombe, another neighbor (73 Lyme Street), also wanted to make sure that the screening will not be replaced at the rear of his property, which is adjacent to the entrance road.
Mrs. DiCamillo and other members of the Tree Commission expressed their concern about the large number of plants (42) to be planted in the area, and that they would be planted too close together.  Jeff Flower stated that the plants would cover a 200 foot long area and would be planted about 5 feet apart from each other.
David Sousa will mail copies of the new landscape plan to Tom Degnan, Tree Warden, the Tree Commission, and to Tony Hendricks, the adjacent neighbor. Because the entrance road is on Town property, the landscape plan, including all existing tree removals, must be approved by Mr. Degnan, the Tree Warden.  

Mrs. DiCamillo read the following letter addressed to John Rhodes, Facilities Director, Lyme-Old Lyme Regional District 18:

“Dear John,

The Old Lyme Tree Warden, Thomas Degnan, and the Old Lyme Tree Commission are establishing guidelines prior to the commencement of the landscaping project on town land at the high school driveway entrance:

The following items should be reviewed carefully by the Facilities Director and the building committee. A final planting plan and a letter that includes all of the information requested should be sent to the tree warden when the primary contractor for the high school building project has been selected.
1.      Provide the name of the primary contractor and landscape contractor if available
a. If the name of the landscape contractor is not available, provide a list of the contractors that are being considered.
2.      Furnish the tree warden with a list of landscape plants
3.      Indicate on the official contractor plans that plant substitutions are not permitted without approval from the Tree Warden
4.      Provide a 2 year warranty and maintenance plan
5.      Indicate the cost for a 2 year maintenance plan
6.      Supply the name of high school contact who will be in charge of overseeing maintenance of plants

The tree warden and the Tree Commission would like to review and approve the list of all subcontractors that will be used for the landscaping project.

*Important note to remember: You are required to apply for a permit from the tree warden to remove existing trees identified in your plans as stated in the Old Lyme Tree Ordinance and sections 23-59 of the Connecticut General Statutes. His approval will be given after the trees have been posted and a 10 day public comment period expires. It is your responsibility to notify him well in advance of the work to allow the above procedures to be implemented in a timely manner.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Joanne DiCamillo, Chairman
Old Lyme Tree Commission”

After discussion, the Tree Commission gave preliminary approval to the new plan. Mrs. DiCamillo stressed that the tree warden, Mr. Degnan, will give the final approval. The landscape plan needs to be approved by February 1 in order to qualify for state funding.

The plan to install pavers by the firehouse Memorial Garden is not a Tree Commission issue. It will be presented to the Historic District Commission at a later time.

Election of Chairman
A motion was made by Pat Moll, seconded by Anne Bing and voted unanimously to elect Joanne DiCamillo as chairman for 2010. There is a new vacancy on the commission, created by the resignation of Regular member Adela Wilmerding, in December.

75 Lyme Street – Wilcox Tree Service proposal for tree trimming
Jason Wilcox evaluated the sugar maple and will charge $600 to remove dead wood in the crown and to do corrective pruning on the lower trunk.

Motion: Anne Bing moved, seconded by Gerry Foster to authorize Wilcox Tree Service to perform the work needed on the sugar maple. The motion was unanimously approved.

Care of Trees – Dutch Trig treatment proposal for elm trees
Care of Trees submitted a proposal for the treatment of elm trees, but parts of the proposal were not clear. Discussion of the proposal was tabled until the February meeting. Mrs. DiCamillo will contact Care of Trees for clarification.

Pat Moll stated that she had received some complaints from a landscaper about the Town Hall landscaping.  Her comments included observations that some of the trees were planted too deeply and the shrubs behind the building were planted too close to the foundation (12”), they should be 2 feet away. She asked if the plants were still covered by the warranty. Mrs. DiCamillo replied that the landscape architect Stephen Wing, who was in charge of the landscaping project, inspected the site after the planting was completed and “signed off’ on the job. The warranty on the plants was for one year, and has expired. Mrs. DiCamillo explained that she questioned Mr. Wing about why the original planting plan was not followed, specifically in the front of the meeting hall. Mrs. Moll asked if there were funds in the town hall budget for maintenance of the landscaping. She suggested hiring CIRO Landscapers this spring to move some plants while they are still small. There was a discussion about maintenance and the prolific growth of weeds in the beds last year. Mrs. DiCamillo stated that weeding is not the commission’s responsibility. She spoke with the First Selectman last summer and suggested contacting the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau for help with weeding. She also talked with the Superintendent of Public Works last spring who agreed to have the town crew spread a fresh layer of mulch after the soaker hoses were installed. She is reluctant to spend money to hire a landscaper since Public Works has, traditionally, been in charge of maintaining the Town Hall site. Mrs. Moll suggested hiring a landscaper or having the Tree Commission members weed the plantings and get them ready for spring. Then the Town Crew could mulch them.

Next Meeting
Next scheduled meeting is on Thursday, February 17, 2010 at 4 PM at the Town Hall.

Emily Griswold moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:30PM.  Anne Bing seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

Respectfully Submitted

Martha Hansen

52 Lyme St, Old Lyme, CT 06371  (860) 434-1605

Town Hall Hours  Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM