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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission
Meeting Minutes   :   July 9, 2019

Opening

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on July 9, 2019 by Andrew Lowry.

Present

Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Dan Cramblitt, Manish Shrimali, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for June 11, 2019 was made by Ian Keller, seconded by Andrew Lowry, and approved by all present.

Tree Inventory Bidding Process

The bidding process occurs through a NJ state online website. Specific contractors can be notified that a call for bids has gone out. Bidding packets may be picked up at the Village Hall. The specifications for the tree inventory need to be determined. Declan Madden and Dan Cramblitt will meet with Paul Cowie. Mr. Cowie has done numerous tree inventories; he does not have a proprietary tree inventory program. He should be able to recommend the specifications needed. All STC members will be notified of the meeting with Mr. Cowie so that they may attend if available.

Winter is the best time to perform an inventory as the structure of the trees is clearly visible after the leaves have fallen. If possible, the monies earmarked for the inventory will be spent this year. Leaving off county roads from the inventory will save money at this time; the county road trees could be inventoried later when there are more funds.

Evaluation of 2018 Planting

Most all of the street trees planted in 2018 are doing well; the 2018 Adopt-a-Trees are in good condition. In the fall, Declan Madden will check the trees, remove stakes, chains and gator bags and prune the trees as necessary.

Dan Cramblitt will check with Jovan Mehandzic in engineering to clarify if the warranty on these trees is for one or two years.

CBD Trees Project

Andrew Lowry sent a confirmation memo to Chris Rutishauser concerning the tree well implementation on Chestnut Street and also about the possibility of including moving the two paper bark maples on Broad Street as part of the train station or parking garage project. Andrew will follow-up with Chris, hopefully in the next two weeks.

Jovan Mehandzic has suggested the train station pedestrian underpass entrance on the west side of the tracks as a new location for the paper bark maples. Alan Goodell of East Coast Tree Service has previously successfully moved trees for the village and would be a good choice for this project.

Other Trees of Concern

The large elm at Graydon needs to be preserved at all costs. Declan Madden said that the elm needs root invigoration using an air spade. Also, mulching and fencing should be done to help protect its roots; further protection could be provided by the addition of a small retaining wall. Treatment for Dutch elm disease will be performed.

Ash trees comprise 15-18% of village trees. Because of the emerald ash borer, these trees will eventually die. The number of trees concerned is too large for the village shade tree crew to handle; an outside contractor will need to be hired. The village needs to budget to remove these trees in the future.

Tree Nursery Group

On July 10, Mike Sedon will meet for the second time with the ad hoc tree nursery group composed of interested residents. Mike will inform them that the village tree crew cannot take care of the nursery; he may take the group to other town nurseries to see all the work that is involved.

If the group is still interested, funds will need to be raised. The village is currently in the process of establishing a 501c(3) that village committees will be able to use for fund raising.

Schedler Tree Planting and Clearing

The soil being moved to the Schedler site from the downtown construction sites has been tested and found to be clean and safe. The soil being moved there is temporarily burying some tree trunks and residents have expressed their concerns to Manish Shrimali.

Trees along Route 17 need to be cut down before the berm along Route 17 can be built and new trees planted on it. The plan for Schedler is available online.

Manish requested that a timeline be published so that residents are aware of what is happening and when. Mike Sedon will check with Heather Mailander about sending out a village-wide email with this information.

The village signal department will be making and posting signs on the current phases of the project.

Ridgewood Calendar for 2020

The STC is no longer involved in this project.

Earth Day Expenses

Susan Nashel gave her receipts to Andrew Lowry for reimbursement from the village.

Long Term Priorities

Andrew Lowry questions whether the STC is making an effort to present our priorities and concerns to the village council. Mike Sedon presents one or two topics from the STC meetings at each village council session. The STC needs to set priorities, make presentations to the council, raise issues, and keep promoting the importance of trees. All these items need to supported with facts.

Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15PM by: Andrew Lowry.

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

Volunteer Hours: 8.75

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission Meeting Minutes
June 11, 2019

Opening
The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on June 11, 2019 by Andrew Lowry.

Present
Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Dan Cramblitt, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Susan Nashel, Jean Epiphan – Park and Recreation Conservation Board liaison to the Shade Tree Commission

Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes for May 14, 2019 was made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by Susan Nashel, and approved by all present.
 
Grant Application
Mike Sedon reported that all necessary paperwork for a $10,000 grant to be used towards a street tree inventory has been submitted to NJ Urban and Community Forestry.
 
Repurposing of Funds
The $50,000 originally funded for tree planting will be reallocated for a tree inventory. Mike Sedon reported that this will be done by an ordinance to be introduced on June 12, 2019 and to be voted on July 17, 2019. The ordinance will take effect 20 days after passage. The money will be available on August 6, 2019. The specifications for the bids for this work can begin now. Jean Epiphan will ask Pam Zipse, Outreach Coordinator, Rutgers Urban Forestry Program, which metrics should be included in a tree inventory to ensure that the proper specifications are listed on the bids. Ian Keller will help develop the specifications.
 
Tree Inventory
The tree inventory will include street trees only; no trees in parks or on private property will be included. The trees on the county roads in the village will be included. Dan Cramblitt said that there are approximately 15-16 county roads in the village and that the village works with the county on maintaining those street trees. Dan will email Steve Jocks to inquire whether Bergen County could help offset the cost of the tree inventory.
Possible contractors that may be considered for the inventory include Davey, Bartlett and Downes. Declan Madden, Dan Cramblitt, Jean Epiphan and Ian Keller will work together to choose a contactor from the submitted bids.

Nursery Update
Mike Sedon met with the residents interested in supporting a tree nursery at the Bellair Road – tennis court site; this site was previously approved by the village council. More meetings with the residents are needed to get the residents familiar with the site, the need for funding, and to gauge their level of interest and commitment. The nursery would need ongoing upkeep and someone to oversee it.
 
Central Business District
Andrew Lowry reported that Chris Rutishauser is still working on the Chestnut Street tree well project. Andrew will email Ramon Hache and Heather Mailander to inquire on the state of the project; a commitment for this fall to improve and plant 5 tree wells on the west side of Chestnut Street is needed.
Ian Keller suggested that the pedestrian safety construction project at the intersection of Oak Street and Franklin Avenue would be an excellent spot to use structural soil in the tree wells and under the sidewalks. The project will probably take place in 2020.
The replanted tree in front of the post office is doing poorly. The soil in the well was improved, the brick collar removed and a drain put in place. The decline of this tree shows that those specific improvements in the tree well may not be sufficient, or perhaps the wrong species of tree was planted for that location.
The tree stump in front of Latour Restaurant is an eyesore but the owner of the restaurant is not interested in purchasing an Adopt-a-Tree. Ian Keller suggested that the village remove that particular tree well and consider reconfiguring that area to improve its appearance.
 
Receipts for Earth Day Expenses
Susan Nashel will obtain one missing receipt and then give all the receipts to Andrew Lowry. He will bring the receipts to Village Hall so that she can be reimbursed.
 
Adopt-a-Tree
The press release on the Adopt-a-Tree application and deadline have been sent to the Ridgewood News. Manish Shrimali posted same on social media. Applications for the trees are being received and Candace Fitzpatrick has been forwarding the information to Ian Keller. Ian and Carolyn Jacoby are still willing to aid Candace with the Adopt-aTree program.
The URL for the STC website needs to be fixed; it must be entered as www.ridgewoodshadetree.org with the “www” included or it does not direct to the website.
 
Paper Bark Maples
The paper bark maples on Broad Street, where the parking garage will be built, need to be moved before construction begins. Both Van Neste Square, where several diseased ash trees need to be removed, and Vets Field have been suggested as possible sites for the maples. The ash trees in Van Neste would have to be taken down before moving the maples there. Declan Madden will choose the new site for the trees, most likely at Vets Field, and inform Andrew Lowry of his choice.  Andrew will then contact Chris Rutishauser with this information.
 
Potted Trees, Schedler Trees, Non-street Trees
The potted trees still at the recycling center could perhaps be planted along the Dunham Trail or in a low stream-side area along Linwood Avenue to help replace lost trees; they would have to be fenced to be protected from deer.
Declan Madden suggested fir and spruce as screening trees for Schedler. Jean Epiphan suggested additional native evergreens such as red cedar, white pine and other hardy natives and also a layer of shrubs planted under the trees.
Jean also suggested that the STC go beyond street trees and also be concerned with saplings and regeneration of our forest.

Adjournment
Meeting was adjourned at 9:30PM by: Andrew Lowry.
Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran
 
Volunteer Hours: 10
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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission Meeting MinutesMay 14, 2019

Opening
The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35 PM on May 14, 2019 by Ian Keller.

Present
Ian Keller, Melody Corcoran, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Susan Nashel

Approval of Minutes
Motions to approve the minutes for February 25, 2019 and March 26, 2019 were made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by Susan Nashel, and approved by all present.

Old Business
Discussion on Sustainable Jersey grant progress, CBD tree wells on Chestnut Street, and need to clarify repurposing monies for tree inventory must wait until the STC village council liaison Mike Sedon is present. He has the information on all of these topics.

Adopt-a-Tree
Carolyn Jacoby will prepare a press release for the Ridgewood News about Adopt-a-Tree and the June 30th application deadline for tree plantings this fall. The application should also be posted on social media; it is available on the website.

Tree Nursery
Mike Sedon will initially be taking the lead on an ad hoc committee that is meeting on May 17, 2019 to discuss the possibility of a village tree nursery at the Bellair Road – tennis court site. Previously, the STC tabled the topic for lack of support.

Earth Day
Susan Nashel spent $478 on supplies for the Earth Day event; $275 of that amount was for a reusable banner. She will submit the receipts to the village for reimbursement.

Train Station Trees
The removal of the linden trees at the train station parking lot took many village residents by surprise. If this move were known about ahead of time, perhaps funds could have been raised from village residents to move the trees instead of cutting them down.

Schedler Trees
Evergreens are to be planted in a berm along Route 17 for screening. Declan Madsen, the village arborist, suggested that spruce and firs be planted.

Open STC Positions
Carolyn Jacoby suggested that Mike Sedon request that Heather Mailander submit a press release to The Ridgewood News about applications for STC positions. Carolyn will have Manish Shrimali also post the application on social media. Volunteer applications are available on the village website.

Adjournment
Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM by: Ian Keller

Minutes submitted by : Melody Corcoran

Volunteer Hours : 6

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Shade Tree Commission Open Public Meeting 3-26-2019

In attendance: Michael Sedon council member, Dan Cramblitt Village employee, Declan Madden Village arborist, Andrew Lowary Chair, Carolyn Jacoby, Ian Keller, Manish
The meeting was opened with a discussion by Mr. Lowery stating the Shade Tree Commission (STC) needs to complete a Village-wide street tree inventory before it can apply for reforestation grants from organizations such as the state Shade Tree Federation. Mr. Lowery has spoken with the Village’s grant writing firm Millennium Strategies and will work on a grant with them and Mr. Sedon for $10,000 to fund a partial tree inventory. A full tree inventory costs between $40,000-$50,000.
Mr. Sedon stated that funds remain from the 2018 tree replacement program in a line item in the Graydon Pool capital account C-04-55-9BT-195 in the amount of $50,000 according to Village Treasurer Stephen P. Sanzari.
Mr. Cramblitt explained that the funds were placed in the Graydon capital account for the fall 2018 tree planting, but was never spent since 2018’s tree planting was funded through the Engineering Department’s paving budget as part of an ongoing effort to look at entire streetscapes while paving. Mr. Sedon said the funds could be repurposed by the Village Council for a full tree inventory. Funds for the Adopt-A-Tree program are held in a separate trust fund, which is currently empty as last year’s Adopt-A-Trees were planted.
Mr. Lowery confirmed that there is $1,200 available for expenses related to the Earth Day fair and will expense all costs in a report.
It was reported that there is $7,000 and $34,000 available for various STC projects, but those numbers need to be confirmed.
Mr. Keller and Mr. Lowery met with Village Manager Heather Mailander, and Village CFO Robert Rooney to discuss moving a Central Business District tree well rehabilitation project forward. Mr. Lowery will work with engineering to determine the specifications for bidding such a project, and he said it would be nice to get it going for spring time.
Mr. Lowery reiterated that a tree inventory is necessary for major grants, and Ms. Jacoby agreed that it was the architectural plan for tree planting. Mr. Madden added that the sooner the Village completes an inventory, the sooner it can begin applying for major grants. Mr. Keller said a base cost for an inventory might be $38,000 with additional costs for additional items.
Manish said he trained on iTree , and the program is cloud based, which would not require downloading it onto a specific device. Mr. Keller and Mr. Madden will meet to discuss what exactly to bid on for a tree inventory. The STC agreed that STC 2018 tree replacement funds should be repurposed for an inventory.
The STC discussed the Earth Day fair which Mr. Lowery and Ms. Jacoby would be present for, while Mr. Sedon, Mr. Keller, Mr. Cramblitt and Mr. Madden could not attend because of planned vacations. Ms. Jacoby said the STC could provide items for its table and prizes to raffle such as tree pruners. The STC will be giving away tree whips at the fair. Mr. Cramblitt said they were not in as of this meeting, but the whips would be available for Earth Day.
Mr. Lowery said he would set up a date where Village resident s could pick up potted trees from the nursery since the STC is abandoning the project for lack of interest.
Mr. Sedon said the Village Council would read an Arbor Day proclamation April 10th to complete the Village’s 2019 Tree City application.
Ms. Jacoby noted that the Adopt-A-Tree costs have been increased to $450, and she circulated a communication plan to promote the 2019 program. Mr. Lowery stated that communications must be clearer, changes need to be made to the website and a clearer statement on how to get involved in the STC.
Mr. Cramblitt stated that each time the Village removes a street tree or one is taken down by a storm it automatically gets put on a new tree replacement list. He also said the $10,500 line item for tree replacement in the Parks Department budget is for trees in Village-owned parks, not street trees. A list exists for tree replacements by zone according to the Village’s recycling map with areas A;B;C and D.
Mr. Cramblitt explained that engineering and its contractors work with Mr. Madden and the Parks Department to determine where the replacement trees should be planted as part of the paving budget. Mr. Lowery noted that virtually all trees are planted wrong with “mulch volcanos” which eventually kill the trees. He said better supervision is needed to prevent this in the future.
Ms. Jacoby met Janet Fricke and Nancy Bigos to discuss a theme for the 2020 Village calendar “Parks, Recreation and trees.
Mr. Lowery made a motion to adjourn the meeting seconded by Ms. Jacoby.
        
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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission
Meeting Minutes February 25, 2019
 
Opening
The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on February 25, 2019 by Andrew Lowry.
Present
Andrew Lowry, Melody Corcoran, Carolyn Jacoby, Susan Nashel, Beth Abbott
Minutes
As a quorum was not present, these minutes are informal notes only.
Age Friendly Ridgewood
Beth Abbott of Age Friendly Ridgewood asked about the STC plans for improving the tree wells. A CBD sidewalk audit on Age Friendly Ridgewood’s website shows pictures of broken and/or raised bricks and uneven, weedy tree wells. Andrew Lowry assured her that the STC plans include true pavers or a level, non-slip composite surface for the tree wells. All surfaces will be ADA compliant.
Operating and Capital Budgets Under Consideration
STC members present agreed to the following:
•Re- Appropriate Unspent Funds from last year for a Tree Inventory Following Mike Sedon’s recommendation, the STC will ask the Council to re-appropriate the unspent $50,000 carried over from last year's (2018-2019) capital budget and use it for a tree inventory.  We may get some ($10,000) of money back if we get a grant.  We view the inventory as a one-time infrastructure investment which will provide a critical description of all the Village street trees and allow for a dramatically improved management of our street trees.  Think of it as the architectural plans for a building. Those plans are always considered as much part of the Capital investment in a building as bricks and mortar. Almost as important, we are told that having a tree inventory is a prerequisite for securing many grants as it indicates that the Village is serious about managing its street trees.
•Understand Street Tree Planting plan for 2019 Mike Sedon’s comment that there is no funding requested for street tree planting in the Parks and Shade Tree budget for additional tree planting was discussed.  This may be because the tree planting will be covered in the streetscape/repaving budget run by the Engineering dept.  This should be confirmed.                                                                        
•Request a Line item for CBD tree/tree well renovation $75,000 The STC has developed pretty detailed plans for what should be done to start re-mediating the CBD trees - most of which are either dead or dying.  Mayor Hache asked us for a long-term plan for this work.  The first phase needs to be funded so that the STC can understand the logistics and costs involved and to show the Village residents what things could look like. The resolution of which department, or departments, are responsible for the CBD trees is needed before we can move forward.
CBD Tree Wells
To show the residents and business owners the significant difference that can be made in the CBD streetscape, the entire side of one block should have the tree wells upgraded.
Village Calendar for 2020
The STC proposal for the 2020 village calendar to feature Parks and Shade Tree was submitted to Janet Fricke in mid-January. Carolyn Jacoby made a follow-up call one week later but has yet to receive a response.
March 12th Public Meeting
On Tuesday, March 12th, 7-9PM at the Ridgewood Library, arborist Colin Milde will present “Tree Care for Spring.” Two CEU’s are available for tree commission members.
Ian Keller will contact the library before the presentation to confirm set-up and availability of necessary equipment.
Earth Day
Susan Nashel and Carolyn Jacoby will be organizing the STC table at the Earth Day event in Van Neste Square. Two hundred tree whips will be available to give away to residents. Plans are being made to have a raffle for items such as pruners and pruning saws, a potted oak tree, and other tree related items. Stickers and/or tattoos to give away to children were also suggested. There will be an example of the right and wrong way to mulch trees. Signage needs to be designed for a table banner and table-top poster.
Funds of up to $1000 from the STC trust fund may be needed for signage (reusable) and the above items.
This expenditure needs to voted on at the next STC meeting where a quorum is present.
Completed Reports
The annual CFMP accomplishment report was submitted on time and accepted. Manish Shrimali did another excellent job on the report.
The annual Tree City application is being completed; the mayor’s signature is needed, and then the request for a proclamation certificate can be made.
Grants
The Urban and Community Forestry grant for a tree inventory has a maximum of $10,000.
Carolyn Jacoby will get a listing of governmental and non-governmental grants available from Pam Zipse of NJUCFP.
Pruning Plan
We need to follow-up with the Village administration regarding union issues with STC members doing minor (suckers, low branches) pruning on Village street trees.
Adjournment
Meeting was adjourned at 9:00PM by: Andrew Lowry.
Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran
Volunteer Hours: 6
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