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Tree Commission Minutes 03/16/2017

Minutes of a meeting of
The Old Lyme Tree Commission
March 16, 2017
Members present: Joanne DiCamillo (regular), Anne Bing (regular), Emily Griswold (regular)
Members absent: Gerry Foster (regular), Joan Flynn (alternate)

Ex-officio members absent: Tom Degnan, Tree Warden

Chairman Joanne DiCamillo called the meeting to order at 4:15 p.m. The commission has openings for two members.

The minutes of the January 19, 2017 meeting were considered.
Motion:~Anne Bing made a motion, seconded by Emily Griswold, to approve the minutes as presented. All present voted in favor, motion passed.
Balance:~Mrs. DiCamillo reported that there was $9,910 in the Tree Commission budget as of 3-2-2017
Expenditures: An approved invoice of $1500 for tree pruning at 12 Academy Lane has not been posted to the Contracted Services line item.

Board of Finance March 7, 2017 meeting: Mrs. DiCamillo discussed the proposed 2017-2018 Tree Commission Contracted Services line item with the Board of Finance. She explained that she followed the same procedure that was approved in 2015 by the BOF when the tree commission and public works budgets were divided and the departments separated, with the commission in charge of tree maintenance, planting, mulching and public works in charge of emergency removals, general removals and stump grinding. The deputy tree warden position was eliminated for the 2017-2018 budget year. Mrs. DiCamillo requested that the stipend funds be added to the Tree Commission’s Contracted Services line item.

Lymes’ Senior Center - Phase #3 landscape plan
Mrs. DiCamillo contacted Diane Blackwell for an update on the progress of the memorial garden. Phases 1 and 2 (walkway, benches, etc.) of the Senior Center landscaping plan have been completed. Phase 3, which includes landscaping the area bordering the parking lot with shrubs and mulch will be completed this spring. Mrs. DiCamillo requested a copy of the Phase 3 plan. Diane Blackwell will contact Mrs. DiCamillo when the plants are selected and the plan is ready for review and approval.

Spring tree planting: Barbara Traskos, who lives next door to town hall, contacted Mrs. DiCamillo to request a new tree to replace the Norway maple that was taken down in 2015. Mrs. DiCamillo explained to her that the commission depends on the homeowner to water a tree consistently after it is planted. The Tree Commission members were asked for suggestions of a nice shade tree that is drought-resistant. Mrs. DiCamillo will look into nursery availability and will check scheduling with River-End Landscaping.

13 Academy Lane - evaluation of maple trees: Tom Degnan and Jason Wilcox evaluated the trees, which are on town right of way. They found some decay but not enough to warrant removing the trees.  The homeowner agreed to allow the trees to be pruned as long as they are not a danger to her house.
309 Ferry Road - posted maple tree: Eversource took the tree down at the request of Ed Adanti.

Police Station - DRGC civic beautification update: The President of the Duck River Garden Club met with First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder in January to discuss the plants that were removed or damaged by unauthorized pruning at the Police Station. Mrs. Reemsnyder stated that the town will reimburse the garden club for any plants that were damaged or destroyed, and asked for a list of civic beautification sites to give to Ed Adanti.

Mrs. DiCamillo asked for a motion to add two items – the sign that was attached to a tree at the Congregational Church and a report on this year’s Gypsy Moth infestation - to the agenda under Any Other Business.

Motion: Emily Griswold made a motion, seconded by Anne Bing, to add the Congregational Church sign and the Gypsy Moth report to the agenda under Any Other Business. All present voted in favor, motion passed.

Tree Wardens’ Association of CT - Emerald Ash Borer update - See handout
Mrs. DiCamillo passed out a 6-page report on the Emerald Ash Borer from the Tree Wardens’ Association of Connecticut, Inc. The report warns that the Emerald Ash Borer has already been found in several towns in Connecticut, is spreading rapidly and will affect the entire state before long. The ash borer kills ash trees if they are not treated. Dead ash trees are a hazard to the public as the trees, “once dead, become unstable and tend to fail”.
There was a discussion about the projected costs for removal at the Board of Finance meeting. Mrs. DiCamillo stated that it is important to educate the public about the problem and suggested setting aside funds for planting new trees.

There are a few options for handling the potential problem with the ash trees located on town property.
  • Removal - all dead and dying trees that are a threat to public safety  
  • Treatment – begin a treatment program before the trees become infested. This option would require monitoring.
  • Remove 50% of the trees and treat 50%. The recommended treatment is to apply insecticide to the tree and/or the surrounding area, either by injection or spraying. The pesticides are systemic neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and emamectin-benzoate). Tree Commission members were asked to review the report carefully and contact Mrs. DiCamillo with their comments and suggestions before the April meeting.
Gypsy moth infestation: Mrs. DiCamillo reported that the infestation is predicted to be widespread this year.  Gyspy moths attack several tree species. Reports of egg cases have been found on trees.

Congregational Church sign attached to tree: The Historic District Commission contacted Mrs. DiCamillo in February about the sign on the tree. They had received a communication expressing concern about the sign and the hardware used to attach it. The HDC asked if the tree was located on the town ROW. Mrs. DiCamillo could not confirm the location. She later visited the site, took photos and sent them to the tree warden. He responded that the small screws fastening the sign to the tree would not hurt the tree and asked if the sign was temporary or permanent. He requested that they loosen the screws so the tree has room to grow.
The sign has since been removed, but the metal bands and screws are still attached to the tree. Mrs. DiCamillo will visit town hall departments to locate maps of Lyme Street. The maps should help to determine if the tree is growing on the town ROW and a town issue.

The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, April 20, 2017, 4:00 p.m. in the Town Hall conference room.

Motion: Anne Bing made a motion, seconded by Emily Griswold,~to adjourn the meeting at 5:23 p.m. All present voted in favor. Motion passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

Martha Hansen, Clerk

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

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