Forests and Trees

CT Audubon

For the purpose of this plan, the term “forest” includes all trees on public and private land in Fairfield, including trees within the rights-of-way along Town roads.

Trees are a large part of Fairfield’s heritage and sense of community. In the 1800s, Fairfield residents Annie B. Jennings and Mabel Osgood Wright were pioneers in forest management. Following their example, the Town continues to embrace its responsibility as a steward of its forest resources by protecting and enhancing the many environmental, cultural, and economic benefits of trees.

Achievements to Date

Challenges Ahead

  • Roadside trees in Town neighborhoods were often planted at the same time using the same tree species; these trees will reach the end of their lifespans at the same time, and will fail in large numbers if attacked by pests specific to those trees (Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long Horned Beetle, Lantern Bug, Gypsy Moth)
  • The spreading of roadway salt during the winter months creates harsh conditions for trees
  • Deer browsing on low, reachable branches and antler-rubbing on tree trunks during fall rutting cause great harm to newly planted trees
  • Climate change is altering the types of trees that thrive in our area, e.g., in 30 years it is predicted that sugar maples will no longer be ubiquitous in Fairfield

Benefits of Trees

  • Energy efficiency due to shade and wind block
  • Green areas provide calming, health benefits
  • Aesthetic character/appeal
  • Enhanced property values
  • Water filtration
  • Flood and erosion control
  • Improved commerce
  • Tree-lined streets and open spaces provide better habitats (edible plants, nuts, and berries)
  • Shaded streets heighten neighborhood attractiveness
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Air and water purification
  • Stream-flow regulation
  • Educational/discovery opportunities
  • Mitigate some climate change problems
Tree City USA Ceremony

2030 Plan Goals*

  • Using data from UI, decrease power outages by 10% through utility infrastructure hardening and improvements in tree health and strategic tree trimming
  • Increase tree canopy by 10% by increasing the number of trees planted, with tracking and maintenance programs
  • Increase roadside tree species diversity and age variation with a careful tree planting program
  • Education and outreach: signage project throughout Town in collaboration with pertinent Town and civic groups
  • Increase open space acquisition and maintenance

* Some goals are ambitious and may need more time to achieve target participation rates; others can be achieved sooner. Work on all goals should begin as soon as possible.

How Do We Reach Our goals?

  • Informational outdoor exhibit panels
  • Seasonal “tree walk” events and educational tours
  • Workshops
FOR MORE INFORMATION
i-Tree Tools
Town of Fairfield Community Forest Management Plan
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