Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes

April 20, 2005


Attendees: Jerry Uhrig, Phil Notestine, Linda Spencer-Green, Cliff Miles, Martha Dwyer-Bergman, Bob Dewing, George Jackson


The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.


Shade Tree Ordinance


The meeting began with a conversation regarding the Shade Tree ordinance that will be discussed at the next Borough Council Meeting.  The questions that were discussed were in regards to the wording of various parts of the ordinance.  It was felt that “shrubs” needed to be defined and what were the specific parks that were under the various committees responsibilities. However, George stated that the Shade Tree charter had been changed to be more specific as to which parks are under the Shade Tree control.


Cliff suggested that there be a map with different responsibilities for the committees shown.  The Borough Council Meeting will be on April 25th which will discuss the comments on the Shade Tree Ordinance.  Cliff is concerned about the clarification of the trees; what is a shade versus an ornamental tree?


Charter Status


The charter will be presented to the Council at the next council meeting, April 25.


Invasives Report


The ECO-Hike needs to have a list of the invasive plants for hikers. 


It was suggested that there needs to be an inventory of trees that need to be removed because they are invasive species.


Martha read the report from the Invasive Lecture that was given at the Denville Library


Invasive Plant Lecture March 28th, 2005 Denville Public Library


The POWWW (Protect our Wetlands, Water and Woods) organization sponsored this lecture. The contact information is PO Box 438, Denville, NJ 07834 (973 627 4629), President Judith Schleicher.


John Happy ( 973 627 4379) introduced himself to me and when he learned that I was from Mountain Lakes proceeded to show me an invasive that is presently taking hold in Mountain Lakes on the Boulevard and has already become a grove.  The invasive is called Devil’s Nightstick, it is very prickly and a rapid grower.  In its first year it will grow 3 feet and second year will reach 7 feet.  It develops white flowers and in the fall purple berries.  It is native west of the Ohio River.  It is found on the Missouri river banks and it needs sunlight to grown not shade.  One needs a special tool called a WEED WRENCH to remove it from the ground because the root system is strong.  John Happy will be happy to let us borrow it from them.  The location of this invasive is on the Boulevard on the left hand side about 1 ˝ miles from Route 46.  It is in front of a big house with yellow siding.


Rob Jennings of the Morris County Parks was the guest speaker.  Invasive Exotic Plants are causing the loss of native plants all over the world.  An Invasive does not function in its normal way due to its introduction to a new environment, they overcrowd the native plants.   It a tree falls, a gap occurs and now the invasives can take over.  Biodiversity results in a healthy forest; a lack of diversity means the forest is unhealthy.


Tree of Heaven grows anywhere and reaches a height of 60-90 feet.  It is a quick grower and it is recommended that the best way to control them is to cut them and remove them from the site. If complete removal is not possible then cut the female trees down.


Garlic Mustard can be eaten, the leaves are used in salads.  It is a biennial and thus it takes two years produce flowers and seeds.  If pulled early enough the plants can be left on the ground to rot, if later then they must be bagged and removed from site. No Round Up needed on the roots systems.


Japanese Barberry must be removed by pulling them out; first the wood of the Barberry is clipped back enabling an easier access to the root system and the digging out of it.


Asian Bittersweet produces yellow berries with red spots. They can grow 48 inches a season and will kill the trees.  The vine should be cut at the base of the tree and then left on the tree.  Do not pull it off the tree, rather it will fall off.  The roots which are orange must be sprayed


July 15 is the date when you should put the Herbicide on.  It is the time of the growing season when the energy is beginning to be returned to the root system.  If done earlier the poison will be carried out to the leaves and not into the root structure.


Burning Bush is in the Tourne and Mountain Lakes, it needs to be cut and painted with Round Up on the stumps.


May 15 Sunday, at the Tourne there will be a volunteer group to work on removing invasive plants from the site from 9 – 12.


Dames Rocket has four petals but it looks like phlox; however, phlox has 5 petals. 

Yellow iris is an aquatic plant that is choking the water ways.

Privet is a shrub that has blue/black berries.

Japanese Honeysuckle has naturalized to the area but is not native.  It’s growth is 20 feet per year.  It must be pulled and removed from the ground and then herbicide the roots.  There are a number of varieties, and they all can grow 6-8 feet tall without support, they also can run horizontally, thus when pulled out the soil is disturbed requiring that a native plant be set in. Their growth has been measured at 2 feet by June 5th.


Purple Loosestrife: the agriculture dept will give you beetles to attack the plant or you can cut the flowers off


Black Locust tree poisons the ground around it thus nothing can grow.  It produces thorns at the leaf site.


How to get rid of invasive plants:

Pull them by hand, leave them on site without the fruit on the stems remove if fruit on stems.


Benner Fence Company 3-4 years the fence can be removed and reused.  Leave less than a 9 inch gap at bottom so that deer will not get into the area, and use cable to withstand the elements. Use white ribbon to warn the wild life of the fence boundaries.


Corporations are looking for areas to help.  Morris Land Conservancy (973 541 1010)


Toad Shade in Frenchtown NJ. Native Plant Society.com (NPS.com)


George suggested that there needs to be a priority list of the invasives so that people can focus on the most damaging first.


Native Plant Symposium


Jerry reported on the Native Plant Symposium that was held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown on April 8.  There were two lectures and two labs. The first lecture was on the use of native plants and low-maintenance landscaping along highways in Delaware. The second was on creation of habitat gardens. One lab was on starting native plants from seed. The other was on the propagation of woody plants.


ECO-Hike project


Laurel Durenburger has finished the final version of the trail guides. The Borough has made 50 copies for the initial printing.


There have been a number of people in the schools who have been helpful in getting the publicity out into the public via the school children. There will be a flyer sent out via the elementary children that contains both the information on the Trout Derby and the ECO-Hike.  They will be put into the backpacks. Jerry has also provided information to be put on the Borough Hall bulletin board. The Town Club has lent us sandwich boards for the event.


Martha suggested that Andrew Bergman could help make the station signs and a box for the ECO-Hike.  Jerry will call Andrew in the morning.


Clean Communities Program


Denise Brennan is the contact person for the Borough grant money for clean-up of the Borough.


MLHS Community Outreach Program


Patty McElduff, who manages community outreach at the high school, will be attempt to find students who serve as guides for the walk on Saturday April 23rd, 2005.


Deer Fence Grant Application


Jerry has applied for a Town Club grant to fence three small areas. We need to decide where we want the control sites to be located in the woodlands.


Website status


Jerry informed us that there is now a Notice Board that enables us to added new information to the site.


Deer Management


Deer Count: was done by Hot Shot using infra-red imaging, and it revealed that there were 24 deer in Mountain Lakes and the Tourne County Park on the night of March 17th, 2005.  Jerry handed out the written report that was sent to the Borough.  There was a map included that indicated the locations of the deer that night.


There is going to be lecture on “Deer and Geese Management” on Thursday May 12, 2005 at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum.


Other topics or discussion


Watershed Information


George showed us the Storm Water Management map showing stream flows throughout the town. Mountain Lakes is mostly in the Whippany River watershed but about 10 per cent is in the Rockaway River Watershed. The map shows this very clearly. Jerry will obtain maps for each member of the committee for general reference.




Martha mentioned that the Woodlands will be providing information on invasives at the Garden Club Plant sale, the Memorial Day event, and the ECO-Hike. She will use the poster that was created last year along with additional information obtained since that time.