Officials on Friday finished taking down the estimated 200-year-old dead white oak tree near the pond at Waveny, setting up a months-long project whereby its wood will be used to create a range of sellable items to help support the park. The Waveny Park Conservancy believes the tree was the very oldest in the whole park, according to Charles Crookenden, a member of the nonprofit organization’s board. “Unfortunately it had reached the end of its life,” Crookenden told NewCanaanite.com. “We are replacing it with another white oak.” (The replacement tree will be 20 to 30 feet tall, officials say.)
In the meantime, the Conservancy—thanks to an idea from board member Chris Schipper—plans to have the tree’s wood dried and milled in order to create several heirloom and novelty products, as well as backless benches to be placed in Waveny and oak boards for future projects, with all remaining wood to be chipped or chopped up for firewood. According to Crookenden, the new products will include a Jenga set, bread board, tray and cellphone holder, all bearing the Waveny Park Conservancy logo and priced at $39 to $99.