Wilton officials have spruced up the look of Town Green in Wilton Center, planting a healthy, full Norway spruce tree to replace the large evergreen tree at the center of the property that had been struggling for the last few years. The new tree was a gift to the town, donated by First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice and her husband, Paul Vanderslice.

Conklin didn’t know exactly how old the previous tree was but guessed it had been around 20 years old. It had been declining over the last few years, thinning out and looking ‘sickly’.

“We had that tree assessed by two different arborists, one of whom is Nick Lee, our deputy tree warden. He explained that the tree was actually ‘girdled,’ which means it was essentially strangled by thick metal wires that had been wrapped around the trunk years ago, which prevented the growth. That, along with the amount of shade, was inhibiting its growth,” explained Wilton’s environmental affairs director Mike Conklin.

The new tree was planted a few feet away from the original tree’s spot, closer to Old Ridgefield Rd., so that it won’t be shaded by the mature oak trees on the Town Green.

In order to make room for the new tree in its new spot, another tree had to be relocated.

“It’s a Katsura dogwood tree. It’s a beautifully shaped tree that was planted in honor of Paul Young, who was a tree warden in town for many years. His family owned Young’s Nursery. We relocated that tree to the Chess Park today [pictured below]. You can see that now stands in a prominent location,” says Conklin.

The Norway spruce now standing on the Town Green was planted by Wilton’s Hoffman Landscapes. Watching as it was unwrapped, Hoffman landscape designer Bob Doerflinger said he considered several other trees before settling on this particular Norway Spruce. “It was one, the shape; two, the fullness. And then it was that dark, rich color you’d want to see on a Norway Spruce. This one has that Christmas tree feel, we knew what we were going for.”

In fact, Parks and Recreation Department ground crews were scheduled to string Christmas lights on the new tree today, just in time for Friday’s Holiday Stroll.

The new tree hits about 20 feet now, but with its better, more sun-filled position, it could possibly grow much larger, according to Conklin–potentially reacting 40-60 feet high.

Main image:  Hoffman Landscapes’ Bob Doerflinger and Dana Ceva with Wilton’s environmental affairs director Mike Conklin.