Shade Tree Commission
The Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission’s (STC) purpose is to protect, preserve and enhance the shade trees in the village. Shade Trees are defined as Trees planted next to streets on the Village’s property. The STC’s goals are to foster public-private partnerships to 1) educate the community about the contribution shade trees make to the Village environment and, 2) increase the number of shade trees in the village by actively promoting community tree planting programs.
|Ian Keller (Vice Chairperson)||-|
|Andrew Lowry (Chairperson)||-|
|Michael Sedon (Council Member)||-|
Who to contact:
- Emergency - a tree or branch is broken or down and poses a safety risk…………….……………..911
- Report problem or concern - ................(Parks and Recreation Dept.) ………........….…201-670-5565
- General Information - about trees, regulations, getting involved….….....….RST@RidgewoodNJ.NET
After several decades of low Village priority a group of community members worked to increase awareness of the decline in the health and number of shade trees in the Village. Their efforts eventually resulted in the Village Council appointing a Shade Tree Commission in 2014. In fact, this was a reestablishment of a Shade Tree Commission which had prospered is the 30’s-50’s and was responsible for planting most of the trees we now enjoy.
The Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission has been officially recognized by the state. Our Community Forestry 5 Year Plan was approved January 2017. This approved status will allow us to apply for grants to maintain and plant shade trees. Currently we are planning on surveying all Village street trees. There are over 10,000. This survey will indicate species, size, age, condition, exact location and also inform us about empty spaces in need of planting.
How citizens can get involved;
- Request a town tree – a limited number of trees is planted by the Village each year. There is, unfortunately, a long waiting list and priority is given to areas with the most need.
- Adopt-a-tree program
- Encourage involvement of community groups in tree planting/adopting programs.
Village Code Regulations
There are general guidelines and regulations such as recommended trees, planting locations and setbacks which apply to planting Shade Trees. The STC is in the process of developing additional materials to encourage successful planting or replacing shade trees.
What is a Village “ Shade Tree”?
A Village shade tree is a tree which belongs to the Village and is planted in the right-of-way of a Village street. This may include the median between the street and the sidewalk but can also include trees planted where no sidewalk exists or on the property owner’s side of the sidewalk. The width of the right-of-way can vary from street to street. It is measured from the center of the street to the property owner’s land. The distance can vary from 10 to 15 ft. depending on the location. (check village tax map for specific locations)
Village Shade trees are the responsibility of the Village and cannot be removed or pruned without Village permission.
Why Are Shade Trees Important?
- Provide shade to cool homes, streets, in fact, the entire Village
- Cooler homes require less air conditioning which reduces energy costs and its impact on the environment.
- Clean air and reduce ozone and C02 levels
- Generate oxygen for “fresher, healthier” air
- Reduce rainwater run-off and erosion and stream pollution
- Provide habit for wildlife
- Increase the beauty and serenity of the Village
- Increase property values and the sense of Village commitment to the community