The council's award recognizes the most exceptional urban forestry project in the state.
The Connecticut Urban Forest Council recently announced that Sprigs & Twigs Landscapes of Gales Ferry, Conn., was awarded the “2009 Outstanding Connecticut Urban Forest Project” Award for their work on the Ledyard Oak Re-planting Project in April 2009. This state award was presented at the Connecticut Urban Forest Council annual conference at Mountain Ridge in Wallingford, Conn. This award recognizes the most exceptional urban forestry project in Connecticut for 2009. Projects that are recognized annually demonstrate the potential of what can be done in urban forestry in the state.
On April 22, 2009, Sprigs & Twigs Landscapes re-planted a new Ledyard Oak at the site of the 400 year-old Ledyard Oak that died in 1969. In addition to the tree planting, Sprigs & Twigs Landscapes beautified the area surrounding the original and new Ledyard Oak and Mark Weber Stone Masonry of Ledyard placed a stone sitting bench made from local granite. The company also supported Boy Scout David Fidyrich on his Eagle Scout project to clean-up the trail and area leading to the Ledyard Oak. The tree planting project was part of the PLANET National Day of Service on Earth Day 2009.
The original Ledyard Oak wasn’t just any tree. Its origin went back to the 1500s and it grew to be the second largest tree in the state of Connecticut, more than 80 feet high with a crown spanning 105 feet and a trunk with a 21-foot circumference. It was located in Pequot Indian Territory and there are tales that many important Indian councils were held in the shade of the tree. The Ledyard Oak was declared dead in 1969 due to Gypsy Moth infestation and today a 15-foot tall stump remains. The tree, also known as the “Larrabee Oak” after one of the property owners, William Larrabee (1832-1912), who, after he moved from Ledyard, went on to become the 13th governor of the State of Iowa in 1886. The Oak has also been called the “Great Oak “, the “Lester Oak“ and the “Graves Oak”. The tree is located on the property of the Nathan Lester Home on Vinegar Hill Road in Ledyard and is open to the public seasonally.