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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

February 8, 2022


The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.


Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Nancy Brennan-Hill, Mahmoud Hamza

Membership & Terms of Service

New members appointed to 5-year terms are:

Michael Guerriero
Nancy Brennan-Hill
Yamini Chinni
Adam Brown

·Terms of Service

Mike will forward the terms of current members and we discuss re-appointments at the next meeting.

  • Members were encouraged to get Core Training this year as it is available via Zoom and does not require the usual trip to Cherry Hill.

Village Meetings members encouraged to attend

  • Village Council Master Plan (Feb. 15 – 7:30 Village Hall)
  • Parks and Shade Tree Dept. Budget presentation (Feb. 16 – 5 PM Village Hall)

Village Dept. Follow ups

  • Andrew To follow up with N. Bigos on getting Declan time to finish the caps on the CBD tree water conduits and to prune and inspect trees planted in 2020
  • Carolyn is working on Earth Day preparations and the activities/materials planned for the Shade Tree table
  • Once funding is confirmed STC will develop a best detailed practices plan for CBD tree well refurbishment and tree planting
  • STC needs to work with Shade Tree Dept. to develop and fund a watering plan in 2022 for the 22 trees planted in CBD this year. It could be done by the Village or contracted out.

Longer term

  • The STC needs to connect more directly with the Planning Board
    • Attendance at meetings is one step
    • Perhaps a presentation of the importance of best practices planning for tree planting and locating would be appropriate.  For instance, as part of the Master Plan a signoff by the Village Arborist that trees have been planted as designed might be required before a CO is issued. 
    • Mahmoud to explore opportunity

Meeting Adjourned at 8:45PM

Please let me know if I have missed anything important.

Andrew Lowry


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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

September 14, 2021



The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on September 14, 2021 by Andrew Lowry.



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


Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for August 10, 2021 was made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by Andrew Lowry, and approved by all present.


Tree Protection Ordinance

 A tree protection ordinance will again be brought up before the village officials on September 20. Mike Sedon will report back to the STC at the STC October meeting. The major purpose of the ordinance is to prevent clear cutting of properties by owners or developers. For each tree removed, there would be either (1) a $500 fee charged that would be placed in a “tree bank” for future tree plantings in the village or (2) the replanting of new trees on the property to replace those that were removed.

Ian Keller will check on the tree protection ordinances in other Bergen County towns.

The ordinance should be introduced at the October village council public meeting. It would then go to the council at the end of October and would be voted on at the beginning of November.

It is important to get this ordinance passed in any form; it needs to be on the books. Then, if necessary, it can be amended and refined later.


EAB Treatment, 2019 Trees

EAB treatment of ash trees will begin on September 16, starting with trees on Eastern Court and Wyndemere Avenue.

Declan Madden has completed the checkup of trees planted in 2019.

Andrew Lowry has received the requisition needed to obtain the informational gator bag labels.


Capital Budget

For the 2022 capital budget, the STC is requesting $500,000 to include tree planting and EAB tree removals and treatments.



Due to the pandemic, the CFMP 5 year plan requirement has been extended to 10 years. The STC will, nevertheless, begin an informal new plan. If necessary, Ron Farr can again be hired to make the plan formal; his fee of $3500 would be paid from the operating budget, not the capital budget.


Central Business District

Two quotes for the CBD tree well revitalization plan have been received. Ramapo Tree has quoted $4000 for eight tree wells or $500 per tree. Davis Tree has quoted $5613 for seven tree wells or $801 per tree. Bartlett Tree has not submitted a quote yet; they have concerns about the debris from air spading in the CBD. One more quote in needed before a vendor can be chosen. The work should be performed this fall.

Mayor Susan Knudsen is in favor of the plan to replant 22 tree wells on East Ridgewood Avenue between Maple Avenue and Cottage Place, eleven tree wells on each side of the street. Trees and stumps will be removed, new soil and mulch added to each, gator bags attached to the trees. The cost of this project is estimated to be $20,000 to $38,500. Funding could possibly come from year end budget transfers. Three formal quotes will be needed for this work because the cost is over $17,500.


Village Forester

The STC is recommending Declan Madden for the position of village forester. The Parks and Shade Department is hiring more people so this change should be possible. Having a village forester responsible for the implementation and enforcing of a tree protection ordinance is essential.

The STC plans to meet with Nancy Bigos by the end of October to make the case for all STC requests.


Memorial Trees, Resident Tree Requests

 A 9/11 memorial cherry tree with plaque was planted in Van Neste Square.

Four or five additional memorial trees have also been planted. The Shade Tree crew has planted these trees. The cost for these memorial trees is $250, the accompanying plaque approximately $400.

This year 60-70 residents requested trees to be planted in front of their properties. Because no trees were planted this year, these residents need to be notified that the trees will be planted next year. Carolyn Jacoby, Mike Sedon, Ian Keller and Manish Shrimali will work on a social media post to inform residents about the plantings. This post will also link to the EAB information on the village website.



Meeting was adjourned at 9:10PM by: Andrew Lowry.

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran


Volunteer Hours: 9

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

August 10, 2021


The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:33PM on August 10, 2021 by Andrew Lowry. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.


Andrew Lowry, Michael Sedon, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Mahmoud Hamza, Colin Milde

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for June 8, 2021 was made by Andrew Lowry, seconded by Carolyn Jacoby, and approved by all present.


Ramapo Tree Service CBD Tree Remediation Proposal

Colin Milde, owner of Ramapo Tree Service, met with Carolyn Jacoby to inspect the CBD trees and tree wells. He determined that less than 50% of the trees in the CBD are viable. He said that improper planting depth and tree species not suited to the CBD are the main reasons for the failure of so many trees. He has proposed removing the compacted soil by airspade or manually to uncover the root flares and then adding Nutrimulch for several years. This work should ideally be done this fall and should result in stem elongation and better leaves next spring. Colin has quoted a price of $500 per tree well.

Declan Madden said that according to Bartlett Tree, trees to be airspaded need to be well hydrated both before and after the treatment. Trees that are best suited to treatment and in a low traffic area should be treated first. Declan suggested the locusts and gingkos as being the most suitable trees for treatment and either Oak or Chestnut Streets between Ridgewood and Franklin Avenues as the best areas to work in.

A funding source for this project needs to be determined. Engineering needs to look at what needs to be blocked out for the work to proceed with minimal CBD disruption. Declan will get two additional estimates for this work and choose the trees to be treated. Carolyn Jacoby will contact Nancy Bigos requesting that Declan be given time to accomplish these tasks. Mike Sedon needs the quotes, sites and funding information by August 24th; he will bring this proposal up at the September 1 village council work session.




CBD Tree Well Maintenance

There is a village ordinance that states that the landlords of the CBD buildings are responsible for tree well maintenance, i.e. weeding. Non-compliance with the ordinance can result in the issuing of fines. Landlords need to be reminded of this ordinance and  the village needs to enforce it.

Tree Watering

Watering of newly planted trees has not been set up with the contractors yet. The trees have been relying on homeowners filling the gator bags and the heavy rainfalls that have occurred this summer.


Gator Bag Stickers

Andrew Lowry has ordered 250 gator bag stickers from Ridgewood Press. The stickers cost $2.50 each and should last 2-3 years. Declan Madden has approved the copy on the stickers about watering, mulching, etc. The stickers also request that the residents call the Parks and Shade Tree Department with any questions. The stickers can be paid for either by Parks and Shade Tree funds or from the STC trust fund.


2022 Capital Budget Request

A 2022 capital budget request of $500,000 for tree plantings, tree removals, CBD tree well remediation, completion of the tree inventory, EAB ash tree treatments, etc. has been recommended. Andrew Lowry will send out his budget proposal to the STC members this week for review and comment and will forward this information to Nancy Bigos next week.

Ash tree removals have already started and will greatly impact some areas of the village. To answer any questions that residents might have about this, an explanatory e-notice about EAB and ash trees needs to be sent immediately. Mike Sedon will contact Heather Mailander to get the e-notice sent out.

The removal of so many trees should help get resident support for the STC budget request.



Due to COVID, the CFMP plan has been extended to another 5 years. The current plan now expires 12/31/2026.


Grants and CEUs

Most of the tree-related grants currently available are dependent on per capita income. Ridgewood does not meet any of these current criteria.

The STC has officially accrued only 3 of the annual 8 CUEs required by CFMP. All members of the STC need to register any credits that they have accrued through webinars and other online means this year.


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 8, 2021


The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on June 8, 2021 by Andrew Lowry. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.


Andrew Lowry, Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Steve McCabe, Mahmoud Hamza, Manish Shrimali

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for May 11, 2021 was made by Andrew Lowry, seconded by Carolyn Jacoby, and approved by all present.


Community Forestry Management Plan

Our 5 year CFMP plan is up for renewal. The next CFMP plan needs to be presented to the village council in September and submitted to NJDEP in December. Ten year plans may now be available. The STC would like to hire Ron Farr again to assist with the plan.  Ron Farr’s fee is $3500. Goals for the plan include planting 350 trees a year, approving a protective tree ordinance, EAB removal, maintaining the tree inventory, and hiring an urban forester. Our village arborist is not well utilized and must perform tasks not directly related to tree care. An urban forester would reduce tree department work by directing the undertaking of preventative actions. Instead of handling problems after they occur, the tree department would be looking out for the welfare of the trees.


A motion was made by Ian Keller that the STC should authorize Manish Shrimali to engage Ron Farr to assist with the next CFMP application. Carolyn Jacoby seconded the motion and all present approved. Andrew Lowry will work with Nancy Bigos and Mike Sedon to find the $3500 in funds to engage Ron Farr. Ideally, the needed funds would come from the village tree planting budget.



Treatment of ash trees for emerald ash borer is scheduled to start in early June. The village manager has approved the removal of 90 ash trees. Ian Keller wrote an e-notice explaining EAB and ash tree treatments and removals. Heather Mailander will send this notice to residents. This notice will also be posted on the STC Facebook page.

Newly Planted Tree Care Information to Residents

Nancy Bigos and Dina Kat have sent letters to residents with information about watering newly planted trees. Andrew Lowry has taken on the task of getting stickers to place on the gator bags with information about watering. The sticker will also have an arrow pointing to the fill port which is not always obvious. He plans on having this task completed by July 1.

Tree Plantings

Sixty residents have requested trees. Andrew Lowry will follow-up with Mike Sedon and Chris Ruitishauser about the necessity for the current tree planting bid to include at least two waterings.



The Franklin Avenue renovation may allow for 10-15 trees to be planted. Bump-outs are planned and perhaps will allow for tree wells. Proper tree well design needs to be followed.



Mahmoud Hamza is in contact with Jeannie Johnson who has expertise in grant writing. Andrew Lowry has previously invited Jeannie to STC an meeting. Mahmoud will also invite her to a meeting.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:30PM by: Andrew Lowry.

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran


Volunteer Hours: 6

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Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

May 11,2021


The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM on May 11, 2021 by Ian Keller. The meeting was held virtually on Zoom.


Ian Keller, Michael Sedon, Melody Corcoran, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Steve McCabe, Manish Shrimali

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for April 21, 2021 was made by Ian Keller, seconded by Carolyn Jacoby, and approved by all present.


Arbor Day Tree Distribution

Carolyn Jacoby received many requests for trees. The set-up at Graydon and distribution of the trees went smoothly. There were no complaints from the residents.


Essential Workers Memorial

The tree dedication at Veteran’s Field on April 30th was well attended and well received. Mahmoud Hamza and family paid for the trees and organized the event. An article on the dedication was published in The Ridgewood News. The trees had been previously planted during the fall 2020 tree planting. The tree dedication was posted on Facebook by Mahmoud Hamza.

2018/2019 Tree Plantings

Nancy Bigos approved the STC plans to work with Declan Madden for a day checking on 2018/2019 tree plantings. Declan is available most days. The plan is to check the plantings in areas B and C for stake and gator bag removal. Andrew Lowry will coordinate this work with Declan and Steve McCabe. The village tree crew can also do this work on a rainy day. The trees planted in 2020 should have their stakes and gator bags removed in 2022.

Heather Mailander, village manager, approves of sending informational postcards to residents about filling the gator bag on trees planted in front of their properties. She did not approve sending postcards to residents inquiring if they would object to having a tree planted in front of their properties.

EAB Recommendations

The village council is going forward with the STC recommendations concerning ash tree treatments and removals.  Ash tree treatments and removals are scheduled to start May 12. A total of 173 ash trees are to be treated and approximately 400 ash trees removed.

An e-blast to residents to inform them about the ash tree removals and treatments will be proposed to the village council.


Graydon, Train Station, CBD Trees

Graydon opens in early June. Before Graydon opens, the elm tree needs to be treated and the ash trees removed and/or treated. Bartlett Tree is the likely winner of the bid for this work; the village council will most likely pass this at the May 12 meeting.


The elm on the island in Graydon would benefit from an application of fertilizer. One of the paperbark maples at the train station needs extra feeding. Funds from the STC trust fund could possibly be used to pay for these two treatments.


Franklin Avenue curbs, etc. are scheduled to be upgraded. After this work is completed, Declan Madden will review possible areas in the CBD where it would be easy to plant trees without the need for tree wells



Manish Shrimali will check on whether the time table for CFMP plan submissions has been extended due to the pandemic. The next CFMP plan should be presented to the village council in September and needs to be filed in December. Perhaps, Ron Farr can be used again to help with the plan.

To renew the CFMP for the next 5 years, plan goals need to be set, ideally at the June STC meeting. Possible goals are:

  • Complete tree inventory, including county roads
  • Planting another 1000 trees
  • CBD beautification, etc. planning with business owners and building owners
  • Protective tree ordinance covering private property

Grant Opportunities

Using previous wording and boilerplate would make future grant proposals and submissions easier. Updating the tree inventory and assessing the entire village tree canopy are ideas for future grant proposals.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:35PM by: Ian Keller

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran


Volunteer Hours: 4

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