Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes
Attendees: Jerry Uhrig, Phil Notestine, Martha Dwyer-Bergman, Linda Spencer-Green, Cliff Miles, Bob Dewing
The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.
Jerry informed us that the Council had voted to make the Committee permanent. Since our status is changing, it is a good time to review our name and mission to see if any adjustments should be made. He mentioned two possible names, Woodlands Committee or Woodlands Management Committee, and asked for any other suggestions. We chose Woodlands Management Committee. The reason for this name, which had been suggested by Richard Urankar, was to make it clear that our role with respect to the woodlands was similar to the role that the Lakes Management Committee has with regard to the lakes. The Mission Statement seems to be still appropriate as it stands so we did not make any changes. The one new document we need is a Charter. Jerry and Patie Graham are in the process of collecting charters for other relevant bodies in the Borough to be sure that our charter relates to them in a meaningful, constructive manner.
It was decided that we would expand our committee to
seven members. Two individuals who had expressed interest in helping out
attended the meeting. Bob Dewing is a mining engineer whose family has a long
history in the tree business in
Cliff mentioned a few additional sites with ailanthus trees that we did not know about. One was the Fliflet Bird Sanctuary. Jerry said that we still do not have a good plan for their removal although we had been given some suggestions at the invasives symposium last fall. Ultimately, we will probably be looking for a grant to assist us.
We need to begin work on getting information about garlic mustard out to borough residents. It is much easier to deal with in the early spring before it goes to seed. We might also look for support for this project from the High School Environmental Club.
Cliff gave us a status report on his recent experiences with emerging threats.
spoke to us regarding his experiences with the Sudden Oak Death. He had spent
Ash Borer has now been found in northern
Pine Shoot Beetles are attacking the tips of the branches of pine trees.
Bacterial Leaf Scorch is already in central NJ and is slowly moving up north. The Southern Red Oak is being attacked, and the bacteria is being spread north by insects to the Northern Red Oak.
Long Horned Beetle is attacking maples, elms, willows, poplar, birch, horse
chestnut, and ash trees. Cliff relayed a
story about a beetle exiting a tree by going through a metal band that had been
placed on the tree 30 minutes prior.
Jerry handed out informational booklets on this infestation. Since this
beetle attacks sugar maple trees, the
is believed that the beetle arrived in
If a nursery is discovered to have any of these beetles in it’s stock the nursery is closed down. The standard response to an infestation is to remove every possible host tree within a quarter-mile radius.
mentioned that the beetle is capable of overwintering in both stages of
development, egg and larval. Thus it can overwhelm the tree with a double
attack in one year. It takes about 5
years for the beetles to destroy a tree.
Report on Asian Longhorned Beetle Talk by Tom Denholm of NJDA
Wednesday, January 12, the local chapter of the Sierra Club sponsored a talk by
Tom Denholm on the Asian Longhorned Beetle. Tom Denholm is the supervisor of
the group at NJDA responsible for management of the Asian Longhorned Beetle. He
came with lots of good literature and specimens of beetles and pieces of trees
that had been preyed upon. Mr. Denholm has been involved with the beetle
program since they were first discovered in
little background: Beetle infestations have occurred in
An identification tip: carpenter bees and leopard moths make similar exit holes. The difference is the depth of the hole. Put the blunt end of a pencil into the exit hole. If it only goes to a depth of one-half inch, then a carpenter bee or a leopard moth has made the hole. If the depth is one to two inches, then it is probably an Asian Longhorned Beetle.
Mr. Denholm said that there was no special certification that would identify an arborist as having experience with ALBs. You just have to ask and make your own appraisal of their qualifications.
Take care in handling ALBs. They do bite.
Some useful contacts:
Beetle hotline 1-866-beetle-1
Tom Denholm office 609-292-5440, cell 646-335-6570
Barry Emens (Tom's USDA counterpart) office 609-984-3707, cell 646-335-6567
Carl Schulze (NJDA, Tom's boss) office 609-292-5441
Jerry handed out an updated outline of proposed stations on the hike:
The current plan is for Phil, Laurel Durenberger, Tom Carr, and Jerry to take the initiative on this with support from the others as needed.
Website: Threat Priorities
Jerry mentioned that an issue had arisen regarding website material. The Star-Ledger had published an excellent and informative article on the Asian Longhorned Beetle that we wanted to make available on our website. The preferred approach would be to paste a copy of the article onto our website. However, the article in question is copyright material. Permission to use it is still pending. Andy Bulfer said that this situation had not apparently happened before.
When we are sending information to be used in the website it can be done through the use of Microsoft Word and then attaching or embedding the links, usually to other informational sites, with the document. Or we can email it to Jerry with instructions and he can fix it.
Martha and Linda will be sending in the Invasive Plant information and Phil will be sending the Deer information.
Other Topics and Discussion
mentioned that she knows a person, a retired arborist, who is very
knowledgeable about trees and who lives in
Cliff mentioned that there might be a possibility of re-introducing the American Chestnut. Work on this species has progressed to the point where they have a strain that is virtually all American chestnut and has about a one-in-ten change of survival. It would be something to keep in mind in our reforestation plans in the future.
asked Phil to clarify the past month's e-mails that were being sent to the
various committees regarding the limited success of the culling effort this
year. Phil explained that there was no
one who knew what had caused the culling to be so unsuccessful but that it was
not cost-effective to continue it.
However, there will be a infrared survey that
will be done in March to assess the population of the herds. The Tourne had a culling that resulted in a
total of 7 deer being taken; however, Jerry mentioned that his son saw a herd
of 12 in the far side of the Tourne near
We will have to watch for indications of recovery, new spice bush canes or shoots, less stress on residential shrubs, such as English Yews and arbor vitae, and more abundant understory species, ruffed grouse, oven birds, wood thrushes. We haven't seen any such indications yet.
was a discussion about the destruction of an observation platform at the Hawk
Clean Community Day
This is an event that encourages the entire town to clean up the public spaces. It had been suggested that perhaps our committee might participate to encourage the citizens to become involved with the restoring of the woodlands. Bob mentioned that the Scouts are already heavily involved in clean-up activities. The Boys Scouts have three times throughout the year that they work on specific sites and clean them up. The Girls Scouts also do this once a year near the time of Earth Day. We decided that we would let the Scouts take the lead on this project. We may have suggestions for them regarding woodlands areas needing attention.
Woodlands Health Indicators
Brian Marshall has shared with us some views on woodland health indicators. For the record, his e-mail is included:
Here are a couple of thoughts about woodland health indicators:
-- It is difficult to pick one or two species as indicators of overall
woodland health, because there are other factors which dictate their
presence or absence. In relatively similar woodlands, a species may be
present in one, but not the other, depending on the species of trees,
uplands vs. lowlands, size of the woods, age of the trees, soil conditions,
plus many other identifiable and unidentifiable habitat parameters. You
would need to select a number of different indicators applicable different
parts of the borough.
-- Many biologists believe that individual indicator species are best
used for identifying similar ecological communities, rather than as an
accurate gauge of woodland health. That does not mean that species trends
are not reflective of ecosystem changes.
-- Biodiversity of a habitat is generally considered the standard
measure of ecosystem heath. The overall number of species present is used as
an indicator of the ecosystem's richness, health, and stability. One can
measure overall biodiversity, or particular groups of plants or animals
(e.g., birds, amphibians, insects, mammals). One of the United Nation's
primary goals related to protecting worldwide forests is through the
conservation of forest biodiversity.
-- Before you pick indicator groups or species, it is important to
determine exactly what you are trying to measure. For example, if you want
to measure air pollution stresses on the woodlands, you may choose to
monitor the biodiversity of lichen communities. If you want to measure
recovery of the understory after deer management began, you may choose to
monitor ground-level species.
-- If you choose to track individual wildlife species, it is important
to pick several from different taxa, and it is often recommended to pick
species known to be very important to that ecosystem, such as pollinators,
food species for predominant predators, or key decomposers.
methods more directly related to the vegetation itself. They have developed
indicators related to vegetation diversity, crown conditions, down woody
materials, tree mortality, tree growth, and soil quality. The University of
Vermont also monitors tree phenology, which addresses the seasonal patterns
of leaf and flower bud development, leaf maturity, fall coloration, and leaf
If you want to talk about any of these or other issues, just let me know.
Mauer does a Christmas Bird Count and we would like to get a copy of this for
the committee’s data. Cliff said that he would see if he could find that list.
It was mentioned that Tim Vogel, who lives in
Finally, Linda thanked Bob and Cliff for coming and asked them if they would be returning next month. They both responded that they would be happy to return.