Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission
November 10, 2020
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.
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.
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 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.
- 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
Meeting was adjourned at 9:35PM by: Andrew Lowry.
Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran
Volunteer Hours: 12
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