Responding to an inquiry about a lack of uniformity, officials said the reason Belgian blocks laid around sidewalk trees in downtown New Canaan have different patterns is because the trees themselves grow at different rates. Some trees also have roots that rise from the ground, which leads town workers to remove the blocks and open up the tree well, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “It’s very difficult to keep it as a uniform three-by-three-by-three,” Mann said during a recent meeting of a Planning & Zoning Commission subcommittee. “It’s just not possible.”
“The original design was made for the brick and then inside the tree well there was going to be small Belgian blocks, the little squares. Basically they were designed to be tucked up against the tree trunk, and then as the tree grows, you start to remove the Belgian block to open up the tree well.