Norfield Oak Coming Down

Photos: Weston Today

On Monday morning, crews began taking down the Norfield Oak, the large old red oak tree on the corner of Norfield Road and Norfield Farm Lane.

The process will take at least three days, longer if weather does not cooperate. While the work is being done, Norfield Road is closed in both directions from Norfield Farm Lane to Old Hyde Road. The road reopens at the end of the work day, which at least on Monday was just before 4:00.

Tree Warden Tom Failla, who supervises the removal, said he was sad to see the last days of the tree arrive. He collected acorns from and around the tree, which he hopes will sprout and allow descendants of the Norfield Oak to propagate.

One of the tree’s three remaining trunk stems was cut down on Monday. (One of the original four, which protruded onto Norfield Road, was removed in 2016.)

This gave Dr. Failla an opportunity to count rings and determine the age of the Norfield Oak. He counted 130.

The tree has been at risk for years. It was slated for removal when the Norfield Farm Lane subdivision was built in the late 1990s, and then again in 2016.

Since then, said Dr. Failla in his June 30 removal decision, the tree has deteriorated rapidly, so much so that its eventual failure poses an “unacceptable risk” to public safety.

In May, an expert arborist who assessed the condition of the tree found significant decay, support cables undersized and under extreme load, large cavities and cracks, fungal and organic material, and damage from insects and birds.

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