TRUMBULL - The leveling of a nine-mile stretch of trees along the Merritt Parkway has angered local residents and preservationists.

The Merritt Parkway Conservancy says people drive down the parkway to admire its beauty, not tree stumps. The group says they knew the Department of Transportation had to remove some diseased and dying trees, but had no idea to what extent.

DOT officials say chopping down the trees was necessary because they either posed a safety hazard or were killing off other trees native to the area.