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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

December 8, 2020

Opening

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on December 8, 2020 by Andrew Lowry. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.

Present

Andrew Lowry, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Manish Shrimali, Mahmoud Hamzah

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for November 10, 2020 was made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by Manish Shrimali, and approved by all present.

 

STC Presentation to Village Council

Manish Shrimali presented a PowerPoint summary of the tree inventory to the village council. It was well received.

Follow-up to this presentation should include tree assessment and identification for individuals. This information should be posted on the STC webpage. Manish Shrimali will work on this using simple layman’s terms; Declan Madden will verify that the information is correct. Examples of the type of information to be included are:

  • ash trees should be treated now, don’t wait for EAB infestation
  • ash trees can be identified by the bark’s distinctive diamond pattern and the opposite positioning of branches

An EAB presentation will be made to the village council in the first quarter of 2021 and will also be made available on the STC webpage.

 

Tree Inventory

An estimate is needed for inventorying the remaining trees on county roads and in village parks; wildscapes are excluded from the inventory.

 

Tree Plantings 2020

Declan Madden is continuing the training on the new GIS system and it is working well. The new trees planted have been added to the inventory. Before trees are planted in open planting sites listed in the inventory, Declan approves those locations. At this time, twenty trees are remaining to be planted this year. Using three vendors for the tree plantings this fall worked relatively smoothly.

While the STC would like to use Lisa Simms and the NJ Tree Foundation to plant trees in Ridgewood, they may not be able to work with the village bid process. Declan will reach out to Lisa; perhaps the NJ Tree Foundation could be used to plant non-tree well areas in the CBD.

Shadowing Declan for a day may be scheduled for January after leaf pick-up is completed. Members of the STC plan to follow Declan as he checks the 2018-2019 tree plantings for stakes, guy wires, mulch and gator bags. No pruning would be performed at this time.

 

CFMP Accomplishment Report

Entering information into the annual CFMP report needs to start now and needs to be finished by January 15, 2021. This information includes number of trees planted in 2020, CEUs earned by STC members, etc. The entire report needs to completed by February 15, 2021; it must be printed out and have the mayor’s signature by this date.

Mike Sedon will be asked if the STC can get help from an outside consultant in completing the next 5-year plan for the CFMP. The village council will need to review and then approve this request. COVID may change the required date for 5-year plan updates; this requirement will be checked in January.

 

Website

Mahmoud Hamzah says that the STC needs to be active and posting on social media; he suggested Steve Freides to work on this because Steve has administrative experience. Weebly was suggested as a possible platform for an STC website. Ian Keller suggested perhaps having a dedicated STC page on the Sustainable Ridgewood wesite. Further discussion on an STC website was tabled and this topic will be on the January STC meeting agenda when Steve Freides can hopefully attend the meeting.

 

2021 Objectives

Tree canopy recommendations for the village is a major long-term project. Where are we, where are we going to be 10-20 years from now, should private heritage trees be listed, what is an appropriate canopy for Ridgewood, guidance from the tree inventory to fill vacant spots are all questions which need to be answered.

  • Carolyn Jacoby will outline what she thinks needs to be in the long-term plan and is requesting three top ideas from each STC member concerning Ridgewood trees.
  • Ian Keller will work on including STC plans into the village Master Plan and the results of the Visioning survey.
  • Andrew Lowry will work on where trees are positioned in the Master Plan and Vision.

 

CBD tree wells – Past poor tree species selection and insufficient soil type and volume have contributed to tree failures; these issues need to be resolved.

  • Andrew Lowry will pull together an outline for CBD tree renewal on a staggered basis – planting a small number of trees at a time. He will circulate this to the STC members for comments, etc. at the next meeting.

 

Tree refusals – Because some residents have been refusing the planting of trees, it has been suggested that in 2021 residents be informed ahead of time if a tree is scheduled to be planted in front of their property. This would give residents the opportunity to give their input on placement of new trees, refusals of trees and requests for new trees. Residents also need to be informed of all the advantages of trees.

 

Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 9:20PM by: Andrew Lowry.

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

 

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

February 9, 2021

Opening

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on February 9, 2021 by Andrew Lowry. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.

Present

Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Mahmoud Hamzah

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for January 12, 2021 was made by Ian Keller, seconded by Carolyn Jacoby, and approved by all present.

 

Tree Inventory Completion

For the 2021 capital budget, $110,000 has been requested for tree planting. The question arose as to whether a portion of this amount could be used to complete the tree inventory. Declan Madden will ask Nancy Bigos if it would be possible to use $10,000 of the $110,000 to complete the tree inventory on county roads and village parkland and to also identify hazard ash trees in the wildscapes.

It may be possible that $125,000 will be included in the capital budget for ash tree removal.

 

Facebook Page

Mahmoud Hamzah has posted items submitted by Carolyn Jacoby on the Shade Tree Commission Facebook page.

 

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

The village manager agreed to giving Declan Madden the time needed to inspect the condition of the village ash trees. To date, Declan has looked at 166 ash trees.  Of that number, approximately 40 young ash trees were determined to be in good shape. Declan will cross-reference these trees with the Davey tree inventory to select which ones should be treated for EAB.

A presentation to the village council on EAB will be scheduled for some time in March. The presentation will include a long-term plan to care for the ash trees and information on how certain ash trees will be chosen for treatment versus those which should be taken down.

 

Tree City, CFMP, Arbor Day, Earth Day

The Tree City application has been filled out and signed. Dina Kat will submit the application next week.

The Annual Accomplishment Report for CFMP has been submitted and accepted.

There will be no Earth Day program this year because of Covid-19. Instead, Carolyn Jacoby is arranging for the distribution of 100 tree whips on May 1, 2021 at the Graydon parking lot.  Scouts will be asked to help with the distribution.

To honor first responders and essential workers, Mahmoud Hamzah had two memorial trees planted at Veteran’s Field. Mahmoud suggested that on Arbor Day an official presentation of these trees and recognition of the honorees could be made at the site. The presentation would also be publicity for the Parks and Shade Tree Department and the Shade Tree Commission. Mahmoud will ask Nancy Bigos if she would approve of this plan; he will also be in touch with Carolyn Jacoby about it.

 

Public Presentation

The Ridgewood library is hosting a series of Zoom presentations on sustainability. Larissa Brooks, librarian, has asked Carolyn Jacoby if the STC would make a presentation for the series. Manish Shrimali’s power point tree inventory presentation and EAB information are possible topics. Declan Madden has agreed to be available to answer questions at the presentation. A tentative date of May 19, at 7pm has been set.

 

Central Business District

Andrew Lowry has been in contact with Lisa Simms and Andrew Hillman to discuss what the STC can or should be doing as “best practices” to improve the condition of the trees in the CBD. Pam Perron, village councilwoman, is very supportive of revitalizing the CBD; she is asking the village to fund a $165,000 “business improvement district.” Andrew will contact her for details about her plan; if her plan involves trees, he may invite her to discuss her plan at an STC meeting.

Graydon Elm and Ash Trees

The Graydon elm was pruned and fed in 2020. However, the planned root invigoration and soil treatment of the elm could not be completed. The $3500 funding earmarked for these treatments in 2020 has been lost. It was suggested that the STC could fund these necessary treatments from the STC trust fund.

Andrew Lowry will write to Nancy Bigos to explore using STC funds for this purpose. Also, at the February 22 council meeting, Mike Sedon will make a pitch for these treatments to be included in the operating budget for 2021. Information about these needed treatments for the elm should be added to any Earth Day release and the planned library presentation.

A request will be made to Nancy Bigos to have the new elm on the island in Graydon fed. Also, the 8-10 inch ash trees at Graydon are infested with EAB. Declan Madden will ask Nancy if those trees can be treated; they are a valuable source of shade.

 

Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM by: Andrew Lowry.

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

 

Volunteer Hours: 7.5

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

November 10, 2020

Opening

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:40PM on March 10, 2020 by Andrew Lowry. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.

Present

Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Steve McCabe, Manish Shrimali, Mahmoud Hamzah

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for October 13, 2020 was made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by Mike Sedon, and approved by all present.

 

Tree Inventory

Manish Shrimali is preparing a 15-minute presentation for the village council to be given at the first council meeting in December. The presentation will be a summary of the key findings of the tree inventory and will include the following:

  • overall tree population is in fair condition
  • annual eco-benefits of the inventoried tree population appraised at $1.1 million
  • tree population is sufficiently diversified, no one species significantly over 20% of total tree population, 135 tree species identified
  • ash tree management necessary to control loss of trees from Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation
  • tree diameter size class distribution – 40% of trees should be young, the village needs to plant younger trees
  • tree plantings should focus on creating a canopy in the CBD, parking lots
  • next steps include completing the inventory by including county roads and village parks; ash tree maintenance and removal; new plantings; additional funds allocation for 2021
  • Parks and Recreation Dept. will be using and updating the tree inventory data on a daily basis as work and maintenance on the village tree canopy continues.

Civil Solutions will also be presenting to the council.

Ash Trees

Ash trees usually die 2-3 seasons after being infested with EAB. On Wyndemere Avenue and Abbey Court, the policy has been to take down the ash trees before they become a hazard.

EAB infestation has a 15-20 year cycle; trees, therefore, need to be treated for 15-20 years. Ash trees can be treated for EAB at a cost of approximately $200 per year.  Treating high value or prominent ash trees should be considered. Village residents need to made aware of the available treatment options. An ash tree treatment presentation should be made before the 2022 village budget meetings take place. Funds for the treatment of ash trees and for the replacement of removed ash trees need to be included in the budget request.

 

Fall 2020 Plantings

The fall planting of trees is continuing. However, there are residents who refuse trees or request the removal of trees that have been planted in front of their properties. The reasons cited for requesting removal include interference with mowing, blocking of security cameras, etc. It was suggested that residents be informed in the spring of scheduled fall plantings allowing them the opportunity to accept or refuse a tree to be planted in front of their properties.

Residents need to be educated on the value of trees to the environment, to their property and to people. Residents also need to be reminded that there is an ordinance which prohibits residents from interfering with Parks and Shade Tree work.

 

2021 Objectives

  • long term plans to control EAB, bacterial leaf scorch, oak wilt and other threats
  • manage and improve tree canopy
  • CBD trees – understand problems, plans for improvement
  • Carolyn Jacoby will look-out for large grants from the DEP and NJ Shade Tree Federation
  • Mahmoud Hamzah will speak to Jeannie Johnson about writing grants for the STC
  • LWV, Carolyn Jacoby, and Ellie Gruber are undertaking a one-year project to revamp the Parks and Shade Tree Department. The goal is to separate Shade Tree from Parks so that Shade Tree can concentrate on revitalizing and increasing the tree canopy.
  • ask Nancy Bigos if it would be possible for STC members to view the Shade Tree Dept. work on trees planted in previous years
  • continuation of tree plantings at Somerville School by each new kindergarten class
  • Carolyn Jacoby will continue to forward information about webinars to the STC members, the STC members need to commit to learning and active volunteering

Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 9:35PM by: Andrew Lowry.

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

 

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

January 12, 2021

Opening

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on January 12, 2021 by Andrew Lowry. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.

Present

Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Steve McCabe, Mahmoud Hamza, Manish Shrimali

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for December 8, 2020 was made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by Mahmoud Hamza, and approved by all present.

 

Tree Inventory

The STC requires a final copy of Davey’s tree inventory. This report includes the species, condition, needed maintenance, and etc. for each tree surveyed.

The estimate for surveying the trees on county roads is $19- 20,000. Ten thousand dollars of this amount is Davey’s consulting fee.

A survey of trees in parkland and wildscape areas would not survey all trees; rather, ten percent of the trees in these areas would be surveyed. The resulting inventory is extrapolated from the trees actually surveyed.

 

Emerald Ash Borer and Ash Tree Management

Declan Madden and Carolyn Jacoby agree that to save ash trees it is best not to wait; the trees need to be treated for EAB this year. Specimen,  prominent, and valuable ash trees need to identified and treated. All other ash trees should be harvested. 

Manish Shrimali has agreed to make a brief and pointed presentation on ash trees and EAB to the council. If the monies for the identification, treatment and harvesting of the village ash trees are not included in the up-coming budget, a bond should be made to cover the costs of this necessary work.

Out of the approximately 550-600 ash trees in the village, Declan will narrow this number down to 30-40 trees that should be saved. Andrew Lowry and Declan will meet with Nancy Bigos this Friday, 1/15, to discuss the ash tree situation.

 

Village Arborist for a Day

Andrew Lowry asked the interested STC members to email him with three dates they are available to shadow Declan Madden as he checks trees planted in 2018 -2019. Andrew will then get back to those members with the possible dates.

 

 

 

STC Website

If the STC decides to have its own webpage, it should be integrated with other village committees. Mahmoud Hamzah suggested an STC Facebook page. A Facebook account would need to be maintained and updated in a timely manner. Mahmoud suggested Steve Freides as administrator for the Facebook account. Carolyn Jacoby has a lot of information that could be posted. Mahmoud asked for pictures that could be posted, for example, pictures of the 2020 fall tree planting.

 

2021 Annual Accomplishment Report

The Annual Accomplishment Report required to maintain CFMP certification needs to be completed in the next two weeks. Manish Shrimali requested the revised 2020 numbers from Declan Madden and Steve McCabe so that he can complete the report. The mayor’s signature is needed before the report can be submitted.

 

Tree City

Andrew Lowry is working with Dina Kat to get the numbers needed for this year’s Tree City application. Manish Shrimali would like the information by 1/15/21. A Tree City proclamation also needs to be obtained from the mayor. Tree City status is necessary for grant consideration.

 

CBD Plan

Andrew Lowry spoke to Jeannie Johnson about possible grants for the CBD. He will get back to her about an available state reforesting grant of $30 - 40,000. When Jeannie has more information, she will talk to the STC. Andrew would like to pursue funding for a demonstration tree planting along Maple Avenue. Ian Keller would like to see more trees in the CBD that are not located in tree wells.

 

2021 Goals and Objectives

Long-term village tree canopy maintenance – planting 350 trees each year.

 

Tree protection ordinance – reorganized village council may be more receptive. Mike Sedon supports this and will try to get this on the council agenda, perhaps in February.

 

Declan Madden stated the need for long term public relations information on the value of trees being available to all residents. One way to accomplish this would be through village e-notices sent to the residents that have signed up for them. The e-notices could contain general tree information, a link to our website or Facebook page (if one has been set-up), notice of fall tree plantings, etc. Also, pre-planting post cards need to be sent to residents informing them of planned tree plantings in front of their properties. This card would allow the residents time for questions to and discussion with the Shade Tree department before any trees are planted.

 

Declan Madden also stated that the Shade Tree crew is unable to provide the residents with a good experience because of the department’s lack of resources and manpower Mike Sedon will bring up the need for another Shade Tree crew employee at the council meeting.

 

Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 9:25PM by: Andrew Lowry

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

 

Volunteer Hours: 8.75

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission Meeting Minutes
March 10, 2020


Opening

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on March 10, 2020 by Andrew Lowry.
Present
Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Steve McCabe, Susan Nashel, Lorraine Reynolds
Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes for February 11, 2020 was made by Andrew Lowry, seconded by Carolyn Jacoby, and approved by all present.

Tree Inventory
Declan Madden will be meeting with Davey Tree on March 25 for the start of the tree inventory in Area A. Civil Solutions has received the $50,000 purchase order for the tree inventory from the village.

CFMP Annual Report
Manish Shrimali has submitted the completed annual accomplishment report to the New Jersey Community Forestry Program (NJUCFP).

Tree City, Arbor Day, Earth Day
The village has been approved as a Tree City for 2020. A Tree City resolution is needed from the village council. Mike Sedon and Andrew Lowry will follow-up on this.
For the Earth Day event, Susan Nashel has requested two tables and four chairs. A canopy for sun protection will also be requested.
2018 Planting
Andrew Lowry will speak to Nancy Bigos about ensuring that Declan Madden is given the time to check on the 2018 plantings and prune the trees as required.

League of Women Voters and Budget
The LWV submitted a letter to the Ridgewood News urging the village council to fully fund the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget request this year for the planting of municipal shade trees.
$150,000 was requested. $110,00 was approved.
Trees must be kept in the forefront of village council considerations. The council needs to be continually reminded of the immeasurable value of trees. Scout, LWV, community, and STC presentations to the council must continue to reinforce the importance of trees to our village and to future generations.

October Public Presentation
Carolyn Jacoby has reserved the library auditorium for October 20, 2020 at 7pm. Pat Burke from Bartlett Tree has agreed to be the speaker. The topic of the presentation has not been decided yet. The results of the tree inventory may suggest the topic.

Licensed Tree Companies
Declan Madden informed the STC that Licensed Tree Companies (LTCO) do not have to employ a Licensed Tree Expert (LTE). Only an LTE can assess tree health and determine if a tree needs to be cut down because of disease or damage.
Landscapers must be registered with the village; it would be a good idea to have LTCOs and LTEs also registered with the village. This is a project to present to the village council in the future.

Central Business District
Ian Keller met with Mayor Hache to discuss trees in the CBD and tour the new parking garage site. There are to be five trees planted on the Hudson Street side of the garage and one on the Broad Street side. It is an excellent opportunity to use structural soil in a long trench and under the sidewalk, giving the new trees the best chance of growing successfully. The trees themselves would be planted in soil. Bartlett Tree has recommended using Biochar as a soil amendment. The trench and tree wells need to be designed; a permeable surface chosen; a water source provided; and, possibly, a port included in each tree well to permit the application of fertilizer.
The plans for this type of tree planting need to go through Chris Rutishauser, Heather Mailander and the village council. Mike Sedon will put this on the agenda for the next village council meeting. Ian Keller will email Mayor Hache about the plan.
Adopt-a-Tree
The warranty on Adopt-a-Trees is not currently known. At a resident’s request, Declan Madden replaced a 2018 Adopt-a-Tree that had died. A warranty time limit for tree replacement needs to be included in the Adopt-a-Tree application form.
Because many trees are now being planted in the village, whether or not Adopt-a-Tree will be continued needs to be discussed further.

Adjournment
Meeting was adjourned at 9:05PM by: Andrew Lowry.
Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

Volunteer Hours: 7.5

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