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Tree Commission Minutes 10/19/2017

Minutes of a meeting of
The Old Lyme Tree Commission
October 19, 2017
Members present: Joanne DiCamillo (regular), Anne Bing (regular), Joan Flynn (alternate) Emily Griswold (regular)
Ex-officio members absent: Tom Degnan, Tree Warden
Guest: Phil Parcak, new facilities manager

Chairman Joanne DiCamillo called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m. The commission has openings for three members. Gerry Foster recently resigned from the commission.
Mrs. DiCamillo authorized Joan Flynn to vote.

The minutes of the April 20, 2017, July 20, 2017, September 21, 2017 meeting were considered.
Motion:~ Joan Flynn made a motion, seconded by Anne Bing, to approve the April minutes as presented. All present voted in favor, motion passed.
There was no quorum at the meetings on July 20 or September 21 so those meeting reports will be filed as unapproved.
Balance:~Mrs. DiCamillo reported that there was $16,050 in the Tree Commission budget as of 10/02/2017. This is the same amount that was originally approved for the FY2017/2018 Tree Commission budget.

Mrs. DiCamillo asked for a motion to add an item to the agenda under New Business. Phil Parcak, the new facilities manager, will be here to discuss the Kousa dogwood trees in front of town hall.
Motion: Anne Bing made a motion, seconded by Joan Flynn, to add the Kousa dogwood discussion to the agenda under New Business. All present voted in favor, motion passed.

Trees reported to Town Hall
3 Hillside Road: a dying sugar maple has been posted for removal by the tree warden.
16 Four Mile River Road: tree warden reported that a dead pine tree across from mailbox #16 should be removed
16 Liberty Street: the resident reported an oak tree that is overhanging his house and dropping acorns. The tree warden met with the homeowner and advised light pruning. He suggested that they hire a licensed arborist who should file a permit application request for tree trimming before the work begins.

Kousa dogwoods in front of Town Hall:  Phil Parcak, facilities manager, stated that there is a continuing issue with the trees regarding the sidewalk litter, etc. The trees were planted as a memorial to former Governor Ella Grasso.
Mr. Parcak reported that the box sill and skirt boards on the front of the town hall, located behind the trees, had been infiltrated by the tree roots, and the sill had been attacked by carpenter ants. The area along the foundation was very moist due to the gutter downspouts, so the roots, seeking moisture, were spreading to the area. Repairs were made, the downspouts were redirected and Mr. Parcak does not want the situation to be repeated since it is expensive to repair. He also mentioned the fruit that drops on the sidewalk near the front entrance poses a hazard. He would like to remove the trees and find a different way to memorialize Ella Grasso.  

Mrs. DiCamillo responded that the trees are over 35 years old. She is reluctant to remove them. She spoke with the tree warden who is not inclined to cut them down. They talked about some solutions that she was going to propose to Mr. Parcak at the meeting. The chairman presented them; prune and install a plastic barrier deep into the soil between the tree and the building to contain the roots, prune the tree branches away from the sidewalk and pro-actively schedule the trees for a light pruning each year after flowering.  Mr. Parcak said that some of the roots were pruned when the building was repaired. He is mainly concerned about protecting the building and controlling maintenance costs. Other plantings were removed from the front of the building a few years ago because they were planted too close to it. The plantings in back of town hall are fine. Mrs. DiCamillo asked Mr. Parcak if he could turn the soaker hoses on and water the plants around the foundation and the perimeter when there is a long period of drought Mr. Parcak agreed to take care of it.
Mrs. DiCamillo stated that the tree warden must approve the removals and the Duck River Garden Club should be consulted before the trees are removed because they planted the trees with their budget funds. She asked if the cleaning crew could sweep the front walk during the time when the fruit is dropping. Mr. Parcak remarked that it may be more practical to ask public works to do it. He will talk with Mrs. Reemsnyder about that, and volunteered to talk to the garden club about removing the trees and memorializing Ella Grasso in a different way in front of town hall. He offered to discuss the trees with the tree warden. Mrs. DiCamillo told him she would discuss everything with the tree warden and they would determine a course of action.

Reported to Mrs. DiCamillo
101 Lyme Street (Route 1): The adjoining property owner requested an evaluation of a maple tree on the
DOT right-of-way. It is not a town tree, so Mrs. DiCamillo referred the owner to Greg Gallup, of the DOT.

Chairman’s report: Police Station update: The Duck River Garden Club had four Alberta spruce removed from near the flagpole. They were replanted at the Public Works facility. The memorial cherry tree will be pruned next spring after it blooms, along with several rhododendrons and two chamaecyparis. Mrs. DiCamillo contacted Burnett’s Landscaping who will look at the site on Monday and submit a proposal. The area should be weeded, edged and mulched.
Town Woods Park: The four new trees planted there are doing fine and have been regularly watered over the summer months by the garden club. LOLJWC began watering in September and will continue through the fall until the water is turned off for the season.
41 Hartford Avenue: First Selectwoman Reemsnyder contacted Mrs. DiCamillo about how the health of two new trees will be affected by the lights that residents have wrapped around them. Mrs DiCamillo visited the site and contacted the tree warden who looked at the trees and found that the lights were wrapped too tightly around them. He feels the trees will not be damaged if the lights are loosened. Since we don’t have contact information for the property owners, Mrs. DiCamillo recommended that he contact Frank Pappalardo, who is chair of the Sound View Commission.
43 Rowland Road: The tree warden looked at the trees along the road and found there is a lot of trimming work to be done.  
451 Four Mile River Road: The tree warden had posted four trees for removal by Eversource. The homeowner expressed concern and asked to have a public hearing. The tree warden spoke with the homeowner, returned to the site and decided to remove two of them from the list. Those trees will be trimmed and dead wood removed.
4 Homestead Circle: There is a sugar maple in poor health with extensive decay. It has been posted for removal.
53 Breen Avenue: The property owner filed a permit application to remove a maple tree with the town. It is located in a private beach association. The tree warden visited the site but he has no jurisdiction over it. A permit from the town was not necessary.
Cross Lane Park: An oak tree adjacent to the softball field was reported to the tree warden because it is dropping a lot of acorns on the field. The tree warden will look at the tree.

Cross Lane Playground - tree removals and tree trimming update. Emily Griswold reported that 15 trees need to be removed. The Tree Warden looked at the trees and posted them for removal. He also noted 18 other trees that should be trimmed. First Selectwoman Reemsnyder reached out to Mrs. DiCamillo asking for her approval to use the tree commission budget funds to prune the remaining trees. Since the trees are on town property and will now affect the playground, the town is responsible for taking care of them. Mrs. DiCamillo approved the funds. The new playground is scheduled to be installed this fall.

Tree Commission Annual Report to the town: Mrs. DiCamillo wrote the report, included photos of spring tree planting and submitted it.

REMINDER Next scheduled meeting will be held November 16, 2017 at 4:00 P.M. in Old Lyme Town Hall

Motion: Joan Flynn made a motion, seconded by Anne Bing, to adjourn the meeting at 4:03pm. 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