Milford Trees, Inc.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Milford Trees Inc. Membership Application

Milford Trees Inc.

Under 18 yrs. ($5)
Individual ($25)
Family ($40)
Lifetime ($250)
Corporate ($500)
Memorial Tree Sponsor ($500)

Membership Form
(Please print clearly.)





Please make check out to:
Milford Trees Inc.
(Donation may be tax deductible.)

Mail to: 28 South Street
Milford, CT 06460

□ I would like to volunteer for:
□ tree planting
□ Memorial Tree Program
□ tree inventory
□ GPS/GIS usage
□ tree nursery
□ educational outreach

Milford Trees Inc. invites you to join us! Our volunteers are friendly, active, involved, community-minded residents who are making Milford a better place to live by planting trees in our urban settings. All members are invited to our “Celebration of Trees” party during the winter months. If you like trees and people, we are just waiting to meet you! Our monthly meetings, 1st Wednesday of every month, keep everyone up to date about all our tree projects and more.

Ask about our Milford Downtown Tree Walks brochure to learn more about the interesting trees that provide us with our urban forest canopy in Milford. If you have a group of six or more people, one of our docents can accompany your group and give you additional information about the trees you will be visiting.

Our volunteers are working hard planting trees to benefit all Milford residents. Visit the Milford Legacy Arboretum in the downtown area and enjoy the increasing diversity of tree species. You can purchase a commemorative tree by calling 203-874-8665.

Come join us and make your community a better place to live!

Mary Ludwig, President
Milford Trees Inc.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tree Warden Thanked As Public Works Steps Up To The Plate

By Hazel Barkley

All for the love of trees, Milford had a Tree Warden for the past eight years who dedicated more extra hours to the care and protection of trees than most residents realize, and he took on the job without any extra pay. Irwin Langewisch recently resigned as Milford’s Tree Warden. Because Langewisch, a Milford Public Works employee, had the enthusiasm and skills for the position, Mayor Fred Lisman appointed him according to the requirement of the Connecticut State Statutes, Chapter 451, Sec. 23-58 which states that every city and town in Connecticut must have a tree warden.

Members of the Langewisch family have been supportive of Milford Trees, Inc. (MTI) from the time of its conception. When MTI was forming an ordinance to establish a tree commission in 2000, Irwin was present to help write the document that was later presented to city officials for approval. Irwin’s daughter, Stacy Nobles, a local lawyer, donated her time and energy to drawing up the legal papers that established Milford Trees, Inc. as a nonprofit 501(c)(3). Milford Trees, Inc. is in its seventh year and, along with the Tree Commission, has helped Milford become a model community for urban forestry in the State of Connecticut according to urban forestry leaders at Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. As Tree Warden, Langewisch played an important role in making Milford a designated CT ReLeaf community. The award was presented by the Connecticut Urban Forest Council for excellence in urban forestry.

With cooperation and support from Bruce Kolwicz, Director of Public Works, Irwin helped Milford Trees, Inc. and the Tree Commission establish a tree nursery at the old sewage treatment plant on Shadyside Lane, hence the name Shadyside Nursery on Gulf Pond. There, Mr. Langewisch dedicated weekday and weekend hours working with MTI volunteers and the Tree Commission members giving much needed advice about trees including getting trees ready for planting in the City’s public spaces, transplanting trees, putting in an electric deer fence, building a watering system, weeding, expanding the nursery as trees grew and training a citizens’ pruning group with co-trainer, Dana Rotman, MTI Board member and Master Gardener. Irwin worked hard with the volunteers on these projects and was dedicated to making Milford’s tree program a success. He was instrumental in getting the trees planted at Monroe St., Shelter Cove and Intervale Pkwy. esplanades, just to name a few planting areas.

As a member of Milford Trees, Inc., Irwin has assured the tree group that he will continue to help out at Shadyside Nursery and see that the trees stay healthy and grow until they reach the size when they can be planted in public areas around the city. Recently, he expanded the nursery containment area. At this time, there are about eight hundred trees of various heights growing under the management of Regine Vitale. As previously mentioned, Langewisch is still a Public Works employee and he will continue to be part of the tree planting crew.

Irwin Langewisch did an outstanding job making tough decisions about tree safety, tree maintenance and tree plantings over the past eight years. Many, many thanks go to Irwin for his eight years of service. He will be missed by many friends and peers!
Milford Trees, Inc.’s President, Mary Ludwig, has been working with Bruce Kolwicz, Director of Public Works, to keep the tree program moving ahead until Mayor Richetelli and the Board of Aldermen appoint another tree warden, hopefully, one as dedicated, as helpful and as knowledgeable as Langewisch has been. According to the Connecticut State Statutes, the position has to be filled within thirty days and Mayor Richetelli has assured the Tree Commission and Milford Trees, Inc. that the position will be filled within that time frame.

Once established, the lines of communication concerning tree planting schedules have run smoothly thanks to Mr. Kolwicz and his Administrative Assistant, Kelly Hammill, and office staff, Lorraine Utz and Lori Weinstein. In the past two weeks, Mr. Kolwicz has stepped in to assure that Milford’s tree program moves ahead. Recently, he took a personal interest in scheduling Ludwig’s request to have the Milford Rotary Club’s two Dawn redwoods planted on either side of River St. at Jefferson and Higby Parks. Last week, a ‘Liberty’ elm, donated by Winthrop Smith, Sr., was planted on The Green along with a second redbud that was donated by Michael Wilcock. The Dawn redwoods and the two redbuds are memorial trees and will be tagged accordingly. Without Kolwicz’s cooperation and helpful scheduling, the trees would still be mulched in at the nursery desperately needing to be planted because of their mature size and heat stress during July and August. MTI volunteers Tammy Jorgensen, Win Smith, Sr. and Mary Ludwig partnered with operational engineers from Public Works including Irwin Langewisch, Kevin O’Donnell, Tom Pollard, Davy Dulin and Charlie Rogers. Public Works foreman, John Wielk, stopped by to see how the tree planting project was going. Many thanks go to all for working so hard in the humid, summer heat.

Considering that the Public Works Office has to deal with complaints about everything under the sun from playgrounds to sidewalks, garbage to sewers, street sweeping to paving, setups to cleanups and on and on, the public rarely thinks about all the helpful and good things that the Pubic Works Department does that makes the lives of Milford’s residents better on a daily basis. Mr. Langewisch and Mr. Kolwicz certainly deserve our thanks for the many ways they are being supportive of our programs, particularly in their willingness to help plant trees in Milford.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cooperative Effort Replaces Trees On Intervale Green

by Mary Ludwig

Neighborhoods in Milford are showing a sense of pride and interest in the natural resources that make up their environmental surroundings. On Saturday, July 8th, nonprofit Milford Trees, Inc.’s volunteers along with members of the Tree Commission and the City’s Public Works Department planted four Sycamore and two Sweetgum trees in the center green on Intervale Parkway in Devon.

Having grown up with the beauty and shade of mature trees in the center green, Rob Masud, Intervale resident, came to the Tree Commission meeting earlier in March to find out if the trees that Public Works had to cut down would be replaced. He said that the neighborhood looked terrible without the trees there. Irwin Langewisch, Tree Warden, explained to Mr. Masud that the trees that came down were diseased and had safety issues.

Although Public Works does not have a tree replacement program, Irwin knew that if he could purchase the trees, volunteers from Milford Trees, Inc. and the Tree Commission would help plant the trees and save time and expense for the City. He contacted Mary Ludwig, President of Milford Trees, Inc. and Steve Wing, Tree Commission Chair and they lined up the volunteers for the designated Saturday morning. The helpful volunteers were Tammy and Paul Jorgensen with their 2 young sons, Noah and Ethan, Paul’s brother David Jorgensen visiting from Taiwan, and nephew, Michael Jorgensen from New Hampshire, Marj Winkleman, Steve Wing and Mary Ludwig. Public Works partners were Irwin Langewisch, Ray Leeman and Mike Gresko. Great job done by all on a hot summer’s day!

Public Works dug the holes and backfilled them for safety reasons prior to the planted date. At 9 A.M. when the volunteers arrived, they went to work preparing the holes until the six trees arrived from Shadyside Nursery on Gulf Pond where they were being stored. (The nursery is a cooperative operation run by volunteers from Milford Trees, Inc., the Tree Commission and Public Works and grows 800 trees.) The large trees that Public Works delivered to Intervale were 2-3 inch caliper and stood 12 -15 feet tall.

Rob Masud and his parents, Charles and Doris greeted the volunteers with enthusiasm and warmth. Rob chipped in and helped plant the trees while his father and mother cheered on and donated scissors to help cut the landscaping fabric that was placed on top of the soil surrounding the newly planted trees. The fabric deters weeds from growing. Public Works trucked in mulch to place over the fabric and the volunteers knew not to touch the trunk of the tree with the mulch because it encourages rot and insect attacks and kept it only 3-4 inches deep. No volcano mulching!

Langewisch finished off the project by bringing in the watering truck and giving the trees a good drink to ward off planting and heat stress. Gator bags which were filled with water and placed around the trees help ease the stressed trees in the summer heat.

In order to keep the newly planted trees surviving especially during the first year or two and during times of drought, a weekly watering system needs to be set up. Milford Trees, Inc. is purchasing a watering tank designed by John Westermann. Once in place, the watering tank will be driven by volunteers to help water trees around the City so they can better survive their first summer.

Along with that prospect, residents living near the newly planted area are asked to set up a watering schedule to help the trees survive. Maintenance of young trees is a cooperative effort and as you see the trees grow and reach maturity, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment, a sense of ownership and place that comes to each individual involved and in turn, to the neighborhood and the community. Milford’s natural resources deserve the very best care as do its residents.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Arbor Day and Neighborhood Tree Plantings 2006

By Mary Ludwig

April and May are excellent tree planting months and several groups of Milford residents jumped at the opportunity to enhance several areas of the city with trees. On Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, Milford Trees, Inc.’s (MTI) President, Mary Ludwig coordinated a tree planting event with Tree Warden, Irwin Langewisch and Alternative Education School teacher, Kelly Graham. Ms. Graham’s twelve students planted eight arborvitae (Eastern white cedars) around the flagpole on The Green downtown and planted two arborvitae by the gazebo. The trees were raised as seedlings in Shadyside Nursery on Gulf Pond and were acquired through MTI’s National Tree Trust grant. Regine Vitale, MTI member, manages the extensive job of running the nursery with help from volunteers.

Later that same day, a Redbud tree was planted in memory of Michael Wilcock’s beloved mother, Peggy Wilcock, who passed away last year. Mike’s fellow workers and friends from Sikorsky raised the money to purchase the flowering tree that is planted at the eastern end of the downtown Green. After the ceremony with friends gathered around the tree, Mike expressed his thanks to all involved for their help in planting such a beautiful specimen. Peggy’s special tree is the first planned planting in the Legacy Arboretum, a municipal arboretum being developed by the Tree Commission, Milford Trees, Inc., Public Works and Landscape Architect, Ed Vaughn, who was hired through an America the Beautiful grant from Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

One week later on Shelter Cove off Gulf Street, another tree planting event took place because of one man’s remarkable effort to keep trees in his neighborhood. Public Works had pruned and removed a number of unsafe trees along the median and when the Tree Warden said there was not enough money in the City’s budget to replace the trees, he challenged the interested Shelter Cove resident, Victor Lamberti, to raise money in the neighborhood to purchase replacement trees with a promise that Public Works would help plant them. Tree Commissioner, Steve Wing, received a phone call from Mr. Lamberti to see what he could do and the wheels began to turn.

Mr. Lamberti immediately sent out a flyer to his neighbors asking for donations to replace the trees and before the end of the week, he raised $850 dollars. After phoning Mary Ludwig and discussing the next steps, Victor donated the check to nonprofit Milford Trees, Inc. for the purchase of 10 Kousa dogwoods from Millanes Nursery. Once the trees were brought to Shadyside Nursery to wait for a planting date, Langewisch scheduled Public Works equipment and manpower time while Ludwig coordinated planting time with Ms. Graham’s Alternative Education School students and Milford Trees, Inc. volunteers.

Prior to the planting dates, Public Works dug the holes to loosen the soil and backfilled for safety reasons. On Friday, May 5th, a bright sunny day, the tree planting project began when the bus arrived with the students at 9:30 A.M. The hard working young teens put some real muscle into digging and planting the dogwoods and within two hours planted five of the dogwoods before returning to school. Milford Trees, Inc. provided the juice and cookies to thank the energetic students for being such a helpful and positive working group. Mary Ludwig, who photographed the students working, is providing each with a CD of the project for a keepsake of their involvement and good work.

Many thanks go to the following students involved in the tree plantings: Christina Frey, Justin Frey, Chris Glover, Derek Hill, Jason Jacobs, Jeanne Keller, Mike Mangan, Kat McFadden, Katie O’Brien, Hector Ortiz, Tori Palinkas, Sara Pimenta, Scott Quirion, Delphine Raseman, Jon Velazquez and Kyle Wheeler.

The following day, Saturday, May 6th, Milford Trees volunteers along with a couple of Tree Commissioners and Mike Moura from Public Works planted the rest of the dogwoods and mulched them in to retain moisture for the feeder roots. Watering will be an important part of the trees’ first year and Victor Lamberti volunteered to accept that responsibility. Victor and his wife, Judy, have planted many other trees including one weeping Cherry tree in memory of their daughter, Anna. Their neighbors purchased that memorial tree, also.

Successful tree planting events, such as these, involve people who care about their community and people who bring their community to life by being positively and actively involved. Mr. Lamberti showed how one person can make a difference in his own neighborhood and by doing so, he created a model for other neighborhoods in Milford. Most neighborhoods do not have a center island but by working with Milford Trees, Inc., Milford Tree Commission and Public Works, we can find ways to plant more trees in the City. Good communication and commitment are key to the success of any tree planting program and Victor Lamberti set a high standard for other neighborhoods to follow. It can be done! For further information about planting trees in your neighborhood, please call 874-8665.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


By Barbara Currier Bell

Each day, awakening, I glance out my bedroom window at the apartment building across the street. This six-storied, mixed residential and commercial space, standing at the front of a 50’ X 60’ lot, has a relatively small footprint, perhaps 5’ x 5’, but it’s easily the biggest structure on the block. It’s a tree. Experts in its particular architecture would describe it as an exceptionally large example of pin oak, Quercus palustris.

It’s the ultimate in modern design. All the interior living and working spaces have views to the outside, with excellent light and ventilation. The overall look is complex and daring. Numerous intricate, decorative motifs are held together in a simple, solid, but sweeping frame. The viewer is pulled inward and upward simultaneously—welcomed, but at the same time challenged and enlightened. In an imaginative touch, the building’s outer envelope changes color and texture during each season.

The engineering is next-century. Self-assembly from nano-materials has been employed, via solar energy. Each system in the building is environmentally sustainable. Many advanced technologies have been incorporated, such as geothermal heating, and even experimental ones based on processes only dimly understood, such as hydraulics that defy gravity.

But in the morning light, hesitantly reconnecting with life, I don’t think about any of these artistic or technological marvels. I just watch my tree-dwelling neighbors. They get up, eat breakfast, and go about their daily routine. Their apartments are too tiny to spy, but I can hear wrens singing in the shower, and cardinals calling their kids. “Awake!” is a piercing initial call, followed by “Tsk, tsk” as if to chide the lazy ones, then the same cycle repeated. Next, everyone emerges to eat at cafeterias scattered throughout the building. Woodpeckers dart from one counter to another, peck smartly at their food, and dash off. A nuthatch goes downstairs head-first, a little jerkily, to dine.

After refreshment during the cooler moments of the day, it’s commuting time—only a short interval, because of the mixed character of the living-space—and then the bustle at work. Squirrels are entrepreneurs in the food industry, vertically integrated at each centralized location. They plant crops and pick them, like farmers, but they also process food, package, transport, and market it. Insects toil at the infrastructure. They do general maintenance tasks, such as garbage removal, and specialized ones, such as soil testing and treatment, or handling medical wastes. As in every community, the infrastructure workers, while much more numerous than the entrepreneurs, are much less visible. But weather counts, too. A sunny, breezy day means everyone is coming and going, including visiting cats, dogs, and children, whereas rain makes everyone shut their doors.

I don’t glance at the state-of-the-art building across the street every morning because I’m fantasizing my own private “Rear Window”: I’m just getting my daily grip. “Am I awake? Yup…so’s the world. See, that’s the pin oak, where a lot of my neighbors live. We recognize this place, each other. We’re all still here.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Japanese Cedar

(Cryptomeria japonica)
Steve Wing

For a change, let’s consider an exotic evergreen from a distant land: the Japanese Cedar, as frequently known by it’s family name: Cryptomeria. Introduced from Japan in 1861, the tree is gaining a foothold in North America as an ornamental landscape plant. In its native habitat of Japan, it is a massive tree of great importance for its lumber and its beauty. I’ve been working my whole career in the shadow of these green giants, but more about that later.

Cryptomeria japonica is a single species in its family. It is called Sugi in Japan, and this vernacular name is catching on elsewhere and may replace ‘Japanese Cedar’ which is botanically incorrect, as the tree is not a cedar. It is the National tree of Japan, and there are many ‘hugely impressive trees planted centuries ago’, according to Wikipedia. According to the same source, the trees can grow to 230 feet tall and 12 feet trunk diameter. Dirr cites the North American examples of up to 100 feet in height, but give them time. The leaves are needle-like and arranged spirally on a stem. The new growth is airy and light about ¼ to ½” long; as the foliage matures, it seems to harden and tighten. In this climate, the foliage will take on a bronzy hue in the winter. Its North American range stretches from zone 8 in the Deep South, up to zone 5, say, in Boston.

The tree’s wood is strong, but light, scented by a resin which acts as a natural insect repellent and wood preservative. In this regard, it is similar to our Western Red Cedar and Redwoods. These properties make it valuable for construction of buildings and furniture in Japan.
Dirr enumerates many cultivars, but in New England, I only see the basic item in the catalogs I see. Some of the cultivars have been selected for better, greener foliage color in winter.

In the mountains north of Tokyo, lies the town of Nikko where an extensive group of Shinto temples is a notable destination for tourists and pilgrims, situated on sloping terrain covered with massive old Cryptomeria. Indeed, the temples are constructed primarily of brightly painted Cryptomeria and stone. The centuries old temples are assembled without metal fasteners and each one is disassembled, restored, and reassembled once every generation, to preserve the buildings and the skills needed to maintain them. An allee of Cryptomeria planted in 1616 shades the road from Tokyo to Nikko, 65 miles of which are still intact. I visited this place as a kid with my family in 1957. It is in a woodcut print of the end of this road that hangs above my drafting table that I see these Cryptomeria every day.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Milford's Downtown Trees: A Walking Tour

Because trees are important to Milford residents, it made sense to Mary Ludwig to pick up on Steve Kraffmiller’s suggestion to develop tree walks in the downtown area. Steve, who sits on the Mayor’s task force on enhancing outdoor experiences in Milford (PED), and Mary, President, Milford Trees, Inc (MTI) and a Tree Commissioner, were uncertain where the project would lead but as ideas were exchanged, the tree walk project took on a life of its own. Two walks were designed and introduced earlier this month as part of the PED initiative. They were so well received that a series of tree walks are now in planning for throughout the City.

Further motivation for the tree walks’ creation came as an invitation from the Milford Garden Club to MTI to create an educational display for their September Flower Show. As a result of the interest expressed at the Show in the walks concept, Ludwig was requested to exhibit the display at the Connecticut Urban Forest Council’s (CUFC) Conference “Cultivating Diversity” at Mountainside Inn in Wallingford at the end of October.

Ludwig and Kraffmiller, worked with John Hangen, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Milford’s Management Information Systems (MIS) department, to plan two walks, a short (2 miles) and a long (3 miles), that included interesting trees that were characterized during the 2 ½ year, volunteer-based tree inventory completed in 2003.

One of the trees noted on both walks is a Connecticut State Champion English elm that is located right in the heart of downtown Milford in the front yard of the Chamber of Commerce. Some of the other notable trees in the self guided walks have State ranking such as the Cucumber magnolia (3rd in CT) in Harborside School’s lawn area on High St. and the Sassafras (5th in CT) on Gunn St. This group of Sassafras trees was planted by August Kozlowski, father of retired Mayor, Ed Kozlowski. Other trees were chosen because of their species, beauty, location or because they were Memorial Trees.

Knowing that each tree tells its own unique story and these stories give the community a sense of time and place, Ludwig photographed the 30 trees included in the walks. With help from Kraffmiller and Hangen, she assigned each tree an identifying number and developed maps for the tour. The displays of the routes used at the Flower Show were enhanced with leaves from many of the actual trees along the walks.

Mary’s work involves the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) software that MIS uses to create information layers of Milford’s various City infrastructure systems and features in a map environment. Think of it as a form of tic tac toe where everything is visualized so that choices and decisions can be made with full appreciation of the surroundings. Because of the volunteers’ tree inventory, the City of Milford now has a GIS layer dedicated to our public trees and each tree has data associated with it that helps the Tree Warden, the Tree Commission, the Mayor’s Office and other City departments make decisions affecting all aspects of municipal services and public safety. As the result of software provided by CT DEP, Mary uses the program to help Planning and Zoning see where tree lines and valuable, inventoried trees are located on specific sites. For the tree walk project, it was important to incorporate the designated trees’ locations in the City. After Ludwig described and mapped each tree’s location, she created a page of tree information, including habitat and shape, summer and autumn foliage, flowers, fruit and bark characteristics, culture and identifying features, for each chosen tree. The product of these efforts is a looseleaf notebook catalogue.

Once the tree walks were created, Mary realized that a brochure was needed to pull the various aspects of the walk together and help users know what was available to them for a fun, educational and rewarding experience that could be shared with family and friends, alike. The brochure invites residents to enjoy finding natural gems within their own urban environments and includes both tree walks, short and long. Each brochure includes maps where the trees are located so that interested participants can take the walks using a tree ID book during a self guided tour. Also, residents, organizations and school groups can make an appointment with one of MTI’s four docents (leaders) who each have copies of the tree catalogue. The self guide brochure is available in most public spaces throughout Milford. Look for the green guide or call 874-8665 for more information.

Milford Trees, Inc. would like to thank the Milford Garden Club for the Appreciation Award we received at the Milford Flower Show for the Milford’s Downtown Trees: A Walking Tour display and for the generous donations to MTI programs. Come visit the Connecticut Flower Show in Hartford, CT in February, 2006. We are grateful for your enthusiastic support!