Huge elm tree to be cut down in Mystic

Mystic — A massive elm tree located in a triangular traffic island at Broadway and Willow Street will be removed in the coming days.

Town of Stonington Tree Warden Dan Oliverio said Tuesday that the tree is being removed because it is dead and poses a hazard. In addition, he said Eversource would like it taken as down because its large branches loom over power lines.

Oliverio said he has notified residents who live near the tree of its planned removal and has posted a notice on the tree. He said no one has opposed its removal but neighbors have requested that a new tree be planted in its place.

Oliverio, a highway department employee who also serves as vice chairman of the town’s Beautification Committee, said he plans to propose to the Board of Selectmen that a new tree be planted there and the mulch be replaced with grass. He said he is researching the appropriate type of tree to plant there and said any new tree would be maintained to avoid future problems with power lines.

The notice on the tree states that it will be removed after Wednesday, but Oliverio said that may not take place until after Jan. 1 because of the scheduling of Eversource’s tree contractor. In addition, he said the highway department needs to plan for how the removal process will impact traffic at the intersection.

A decision is still being made about what to do with the wood, which Oliverio said will depend on its condition. That will be better known once the tree is taken down and cut into pieces.

A plaque that was affixed to the tree states: “Historic Elm. This tree is hereby designated a historic landmark to be honored and preserved for future generations. Elm Research Institute. Harrisville N.H.”

Oliverio said he tried to contact the group but was not able to learn much about the tree from an official there. He has removed the plaque from the tree and is saving it.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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