Tree Warden Bruce Pauley urged the Board of Selectmen Tuesday to take action against homeowners who build stone walls that eventually kill nearby trees.

Pauley suggested a change in the town's regulations that would require residents to consult New Canaan's tree warden before building a stone wall on their property. He noted that it is the town's responsibility to remove dead trees as a result of some of these stone walls.

"The tree warden should have some input as to what is the likely outcome" of a stone wall, Pauley said. "If they're permitted to build stone walls, they have to assume responsibility for the price of tree removal, pruning ... for a minimum of five years, because that's how long it could take for a tree to fully die."

He also noted that many homeowners don't realize the effects when they're installing a stone wall.

"A lot of these people don't want to lose the tree, but they don't realize what it is that they're doing," Pauley said.

Selectman Beth Jones volunteered to drive by some of these locations to assess the issue, and First Selectman Robert Mallozzi said he would consult the town attorney about a possible regulation change.

During the meeting, the board approved a $19,871 contract with Almstead Tree and Shrub Care for tree pruning and removal at various locations in New Canaan.

Though the stone wall situation is not common, Pauley said, "There is enough to warrant some action."

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson

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