story & photo
by Amy Pjura
Earth Day is a time for communities to get together and appreciate the world and environment we live in. It’s a day for groups to make people aware of the good that we could be doing for the earth we live on, by planting new trees and plants, recycling and other things to improve the environment. Sprigs & Twigs Landscaping, LLC did just that on this year’s Earth Day, April 22. About a month ago, Linda Lillie, owner, Sprigs & Twigs, approached the Mayor Fred B. Allyn, Jr., Ledyard to propose the project of replanting the historically known Ledyard Oak. The project was approved, and plans for the replanting began.
The Ledyard Oak is a white oak and is the largest white oak in CT. It is estimated to be 400 years old, 21 feet in circumference and 80 feet tall. The tree is located on the property of the Nathan Lester Home on Vinegar Hill Road, Ledyard. The property has hiking paths and gardens and is open to the public seasonally. The new white oak that Sprigs & Twigs planted is right next to the old one.
If you look at the Ledyard Oak now, it doesn’t look much like a tree, but instead a rotting stump. The tree died in 1969 due to gypsy moth infestation. The decomposition of the old tree will provide nutrients for the new tree that will help it grow. That is recycling at it’s best!
Due to the massive amount of rain that Mother Nature gave us, the site of the replanting was muddy, causing problems for the crew to transport the new 600 pound oak to the site, which is located 100 yards into the woods from the parking lot. Although it took a little extra time to get the tree to it’s new home, everyone was in bright spirits and brightly colored t-shirts. Everyone donned smiles, not only because of the sun shining, but for the feeling of accomplishment of being part of such a wonderful project. Linda had an extra big smile and expressed for herself, and the crew, “[The tree planting] feels good.”
Along with Sprigs & Twigs, a Boy Scout wanted to do something for the Ledyard Oak. David Fidyrich plans to clean-up the trail leading to the Ledyard Oak, plant wild flowers and donate benches, as a part of his Eagle Scout project, later this summer.
The finished site for the oak will consist of the donations from David, and a rope fence and a deer fence around the tree to ensure the health of the tree from onlookers.
Linda hopes that the new oak will live 400 years, if not longer, just like its predecessor, the Great Oak.