Tree Cutting on Byways Angers Town, Neighbors

The latest round in a dispute pitting a landowner’s right of access against conservation values played out like a game of cat and mouse in town hall, the courts and the woods of Edgartown last week.

It began a little before 10 a.m. on Friday morning, when Paul Elliott, the president of the Edgartown Meadows Road Association, found workmen cutting down trees along Middle Line Road.

Tashmoo Overlook Versus the Willows

One of the great public views on the Vineyard at the Tashmoo Overlook is disappearing behind a wall of willows, but instead of calling in tree surgeons to open the vista up, the trees’ owners have called in their lawyers.

The Tisbury selectmen complained on Tuesday night that despite more than a year of attempts to negotiate a solution, the owners of the trees, the Thomas and Ginny Payette family of Tashmoo Farm, remained intransigent and have now refused to talk further, except through their legal representative.

Tashmoo Willows Owner Offers Path To Talks Over View

The attorney representing the owners of a stand of willow trees which is gradually obscuring one of the Island’s best scenic views at the Tashmoo Overlook has extended an olive branch to the town of Tisbury over the dispute.

In a letter sent to Tisbury town administrator John Bugbee on August 15, Michael Goldsmith, an attorney with Reynolds, Rappaport and Kaplan in Edgartown, offered a formula for further talks about the problem.

Seeing History in the Forest and Trees

David Foster is no ordinary forester. To begin with, there’s his professional moniker: paleoecologist. It means that he is an environmental historian; he studies ecology in the context of history. Long-range history. Very long-range history. He can tell you (for example) what was happening in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest about 15,000 years ago — and also 60 years ago.

Clearing Trees To See Forest’s Old Ecosystem

The red pine plantations of the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest have been described as recently as 1998 by this paper as a “pine cathedral,” with evenly spaced rows of the northern evergreen towering above a forest floor nearly barren except for a carpet of needles. Now that cathedral has been all but sacked by fungal barbarians known as diplodia pinea which infect the trees from the shoots and rot them to the core.

Wasp Attacks on Black Oaks May Be Spreading on Island

Inside the Polly Hill Arboretum office on Monday afternoon sits Collections and Grounds Manager Tom Clarke with a number of black oak twigs and branches on his desk, one just brought in by arborist John McCarter an hour earlier. With acorns dangling and new foliage sprouting, the twigs are seemingly healthy.

Look closer and each twig has hundreds of miniscule holes; the once smooth, skinny branches are now bumpy and swollen.

Once emerging from these tiny holes were the cynipid gall wasps currently attacking black oak trees up and down the Island.

Pages