NewsThe Norwalk Tree Alliance
Be a Part of History
The Norwalk Tree Alliance has constructed a Tree Farm at Fodor Farm, 330 Flax Hill Road in Norwalk. The Tree Alliance will be planting 225 bare root seedlings at the Tree Farm on Saturday May 20, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. These seedlings will be cultivated, nurtured and transplanted to other areas of Norwalk. As trees are transplanted from the Tree Farm, new seedlings will be planted so that the Tree Farm serves the community for decades to come. You can help. Join us on May 20 and plant as few, or as many, trees as you like. In an hour or two of your time you will learn how to properly plant a tree and help improve the quality of life in Nowalk into the foreseeable future.
MEET DEDICATED NEIGHBORS
Come meet a group of people who are committed to improving the quality of YOUR life in Norwalk. The Norwalk Tree alliance (NTA) will conduct its first Open House at Fodor Farm, 330 Flax Hill Road in Norwalk from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on Thursday June 22, 2017. Visit the NTA Tree Farm , see a solar-powered irrigation system, and learn about the Rosa Parks Arboretum and how the NTA has helped the City retain its Tree City USA status for 13 consecutive years. See how the NTA’s programs have contributed to the environmental education of the City’s children and earned national recognition. Learn how a little time and energy can make a huge difference to you and your neighbors.
Trees Add Value to Your Property
On Monday April 3, 2017 at 7:30 PM, Gay MacLeod, Vice Chair of Norwalk’s Tree Advisory Committee, will give a presentation on this topic to a meeting of the West Norwalk Association. The meeting will be held at Fox Run Elementary School. Her presentation will feature the numerous ways trees add value to residential properties, as well as highlighting many other ways trees provide advantages to our quality of life. Gay’s presentation is open to the public.
The Tree Farm at Fodor Farm
The Norwalk Tree Alliance has developed a tree farm with funding from an “America the Beautiful” grant, awarded to us by CT DEEP. This grant has helped us launch the tree farm at Fodor Farm Park. The tree farm, about 1/3 acre in size, was dedicated on September 27, 2013, and is currently functioning.
In spring 2013 the farm received its first potted saplings, consisting of White Spruce, Black Walnut and Toringo Crabapple. Other species are also currently being grown. After a few years of growing at Fodor Tree Farm, the trees will be replanted to enhance Norwalk’s streets, city parks and schools.
We are grateful to the departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works, and the City of Norwalk for their support of this project.
On June 22, 2013 the Boy Scouts of Troop 2 in Norwalk did a community service project at our newly developed tree farm. Beginning at 8 AM on a beautiful day, they showed up, over 30 strong. By 1 PM, on this first day of summer, the storage shed was painted inside and out, mounds of mulch was spread, a drainage trough was dug and other landscaping work was done.We are grateful to the volunteers who participated in this project and for the work they did.
The technology of solar irrigation was adapted by The NTA to develop an environmental-friendly process to water the trees at appropriate intervals. As components, the system utilizes solar panels with a timer, pump and moisture sensor.
The farm offers Norwalk’s residents and students opportunities for volunteerism, particularly students at the city’s two high schools who might need community service hours for admission to colleges and universities.
Fodor Farm Park is located at 328 Flax Hill Road, in Norwalk. Click to view pictures from a work day at the Fodor Tree Farm.
The NTA Tree Identification Project
In 2014 The Norwalk Tree Alliance installed identification signs on selected trees trees in four local parks . Signs in a fifth park were installed in the spring of 2015. The NTA hopes to make the public more aware of the diversity and value that can come from an urban forest.
Over 150 trees were tagged with signs at Calf Pasture Beach, Mathews Park, Cranbury Park, Rosa Parks Arboretum and Shady Beach. The trees are from 24 different species, including Black Cherry, American basswood, European beech, oak varieties, and native maple varieties. We are currently working in partnership with The Norwalk Seaport Association to identify some of the trees on Sheffield Island.
The campaign was funded by a grant from the America the Beautiful initiative, which was arranged by the Forestry Division of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The trees were chosen based on their visibility and diversity. The signs measure four inches by six inches, and are inscribed with both the common and the Latin names of the trees, along with species’ characteristics and line drawings of the leaf and needle configurations. They will also each have a Quick Response Code for smartphone users to obtain more information.
Annual Arbor Day Celebrations in Norwalk
Each year the Norwalk Tree Alliance, in conjunction with the Norwalk Board of Education, selects a school to receive a tree in honor of Arbor Day.
The 2016 annual Arbor Day celebration took place on April 29, 2016 at Marvin School. As in past years, the students did participate in the planting of a tree on the school grounds. Mayor Rilling along with other dignitaries and the students used ceremonial shovels to plant the Kousa Dogwood tree.
The poster contest in honor of Arbor Day again produced some very creative scenes from the Marvin School students.
Arbor Day 2015 was celebrated at Kendall School on April 24. Once again, the poster contest in honor of Arbor Day produced some very creative scenes from the Kendall School students.
The 2014 Arbor Day tree planting was done on April 25 at Wolfpit School. This was the eleventh year that a tree was planted at a school in celebration of Arbor Day.
The 2013 Arbor Day tree planting was celebrated on April 26 at the Jefferson Magnet School. On this beautiful sunny spring day, a maple tree was planted on the school grounds. The poster contest in honor of Arbor Day produced some very creative scenes from the students.
In 2012, Arbor Day was celebrated on April 27 at Naramake School, where 6 apple trees were planted. Again, on a beautiful spring day, the ceremony was attended by students, residents and many local and state dignitaries.
In 2011, Arbor Day was celebrated on April 29 at Fox Run School. A spruce tree was planted at the school to honor the day, with many city and state dignitaries in attendance. Fox Run students performed ceremonies in honor of the occasion. It is expected that the tree will flourish and beautify the school landscape for many years to come.
Previous years have seen trees planted at the schools listed below.
- 2004: Marvin School
- 2005: Tracey School
- 2006: Brookside School
- 2007: Columbus School
- 2008: Rowayton School
- 2009: Cranbury School
- 2010: Silvermine School
Norwalk’s Notable Trees
A sycamore on Soundview Avenue known as the Lighthouse Tree—once a beacon for sailors and the legendary site of a cache of arms for soldiers during the Revolutionary War is among the Notable Trees being catalogued by a team from the Norwalk Tree Alliance. Dan Landau and Jeanne McAndrew have identified at least a dozen remarkable trees and they intend to document the extraordinary specimens as they screen Norwalk’s urban forest. Both have been volunteers with the NTA for many years and describe the appeal of the association in virtually the same terms–an affinity for the outdoors, the wonders of nature and an opportunity for give-something-back community service.
Lightning has sheared off the top of the Lighthouse Tree and today it stands diminished at 77 feet high. But it was reportedly once a towering point visible from Long Island Sound and it served as a structural landmark for shipping. At night, a flagman reportedly climbed the tree and guided ships into Norwalk Harbor with a lantern.
Folklore has it that during the Revolutionary War soldiers hid their guns by burying weapons at the base of the tree and covering the cache with a large rock that is still there today, now virtually engulfed by the growth of the trunk.
Like the historic tree at curbside on Sound Avenue, there are an estimated 20,000 trees on civic property in Norwalk and manifoldly more, perhaps as many as 100,000, on private property.
The Norwalk Tree Alliance is scouring the city for exceptional trees, outfitted with a tape measure and an apparatus known as an inclinometer; based on tilt sensor technology it measures tree height using geometry.
So far they have evaluated 70 of 90 trees nominated to the Norwalk Notable Tree Registry since 2002. There are 36 different species on the list and several exceptional trees in each species.
What kind of trees are considered Notables? They might be uncommon because of advanced age or lofty height, resplendence and symmetry, rarity of the species, multiple trunks and unusual shape or historic heritage. Householders generally provide the leads.
If you know of a tree which you feel might qualify as notable, please e-mail .
Among other Notable Trees on the Norwalk list:
- An American beech on the grounds of the 1880 Selleck House on Berkley Street.
- A catalpa with a cantilevered limb on Perry Avenue.
- A black oak with four trunks on Highland Avenue.
- A weeping beech with multiple trunks in Cranbury Park, site of the annual Connecticut Tree Festival in May.
- A European beech on Bottswood Road, believed to have survived after the British burned Norwalk in 1779.
- In a special category is a sourwood tree in Riverside Cemetery that qualifies as a state champion for its age and elegance, Norwalk’s only such designate.
A complete listing of the specimens in the Norwalk Notable Tree Registry is available from the Norwalk Tree Alliance.