Westbury woman chains herself to tree to prevent it from being cut down

Denise Casares is taking a stand against the Village of Westbury to save a tree that's been in front of her house for generations.

News 12 Staff

Apr 21, 2022, 5:10 PM

Updated 784 days ago

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A Westbury woman chained herself to an tree to keep it from being cut down.
Denise Casares is taking a stand against the Village of Westbury to save a tree that's been in front of her house for generations.
Casares noticed village workers preparing Wednesday to cut down the large oak tree in front of her house on Ellison Avenue. The tree is healthy, she says, and has been here for more than 80 years.
Casares says she immediately complained and that the workers stopped. She says she was told by the village that the tree could be saved. Then she says the village reversed its decision and said the tree had to go.
Casares decided to chain herself to the tree Thursday. The problem seems to stem with the root of the tree, which is protruding about an inch or so into the roadway and moving the curb.
"I told my husband this tree is like family, I'm chaining myself to the tree, putting signs up, my kids are all home this week for spring break, and this is what we're going to do. They tell me the tree can stay," says Casares.
Some neighbors say they have no problem seeing the tree go. Others aren't so sure.
"It is a healthy tree, it gives shade," says Philip Alfieri. "What else can you ask for from a tree?"
Other trees on Ellison Avenue have already been torn down for the repaving.
Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro says he would like to keep the tree and have engineers reexamine the tree a second time.
"Sometimes you can get away by cutting some of the roots at the curb line," Cavallaro says. "If you do too much of that, you may compromise the tree and that would not be a good thing from a safety standpoint."
Casares says she will wait for the engineer's report and hopes something can be done to save the tree. Until she gets some answers, she says she will be out during daylight hours chained to the tree to make sure it's protected.


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