20201208 - Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission

Meeting Minutes

December 8, 2020


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.


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.



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.



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

Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran


Volunteer Hours: 10.5

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