Woodlands Management Committee Meeting Minutes
Attendees: Martha Dwyer-Bergman, Cliff Miles, Phil Notestine, Louise Davis, Linda Spencer-Green, Jay Eveleth, Joan Best, Heather Carr, John Linson, Jerry Uhrig
In addition to Linda Spencer-Green, who is our regular liaison to the Shade Tree Commission, Jay Eveleth, Joan Best, Heather Carr, and John Linson (the Borough arborist) were attending as guests from the Shade Tree Commission. The meeting was arranged and hosted by Linda Spencer-Green. The meeting started with a series of short presentations by Woodlands Committee members. Linda gave the Introduction and Overview, followed by Phil with a report on deer, Martha and Jerry on invasives, Cliff on general threats to our trees, and Phil on vernal pools and last, in response to a question by Jay, Phil gave a short talk on the earthworm problem. Bob Dewing expected to give a presentation on the future of our woodlands ten years out. But he was unable to attend the meeting. The handouts that he intended to use are attached at the end of these minutes.
Linda spoke briefly about the mission of the Woodlands Committee and reviewed a historical perspective, starting from 3000 years ago, that showed that threats to our woodlands are neither new nor unique to our own locale.
She then gave a short review of the overall methodology used by Woodlands in addressing their mission. It is a local adaptation of the methodology used by The Nature Conservancy in their site restoration work: Conservation by Design. An explanation can be found on the website: http://nature.org/aboutus/howwework/cbd/
The adaptation to our local
context can be found in the viewgraphs on the
Linda introduced the Prioritized Threat List from our website:
2. Invasive Plants,
3. Sudden Oak Death,
4. Bacterial Leaf Scorch,
5. Asian Long-horned Beetle,
6. Emerald Ash Borer,
7. Hemlock Woolly Adelgid,
9. Runoff, flooding, erosion,
12. Gypsy moths,
13. Dutch elm disease,
14. Chestnut blight.
Finally, Linda discussed the
characteristics of a healthy woodland. It should have
a well-developed understory, a diversity of native vegetation, and not be too
town wide survey was done 4 years ago by the Environmental Commission. It was agreed
that the deer population was too high to sustain a healthy balanced woodlands
habitat. As a result it was decided that we must undertake a reduction in the deer
herd by culling. The current thoughts
are that there should be no more than 5 deer per square mile for the woodlands
to begin to regenerate. Currently, we
are not sure what the population of the deer is in the woodlands. There were three deer killed in 2005 from car
accidents. Nine deer were killed by
hunters and reported to the state of
How long will it take for the woods to recover? It will depend on the condition of the soil, the diseases that might be present, and the amount of invasive plants that are there. Jerry stated that it is likely to take between 5 and 10 years for reasonably complete recovery.
Would it be better not to have any deer in the woods? The answer to that question is open to debate but people do enjoy seeing the deer.
Invasives: Martha (plants) and Jerry (trees)
A handout was give listing the top concerns of invasive plants in the town. Listed were Garlic Mustard, Multi Flora Rose, Burning Bush, Japanese knotweed, and Japanese Barberry. With each invasive there was a reprint of the overview from the Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas printed by the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service. This report is also accessible on-line from the Woodlands website. It gives for each species the origin, background, distribution and ecological threat, description and biology, prevention and control, and native alternatives (usually about six of them.
Also, the list on control methods that Lynn Uhrig compiled from various sources including her own experience was shared with the Shade Tree members. This list is included with these minutes as an attachment.
presentation focused on just four trees that are currently our most troublesome
invasive trees: ailanthus (tree of heaven), Norway maple,
is a problem tree found throughout town but especially in Halsey Frederick Park
just below the playfields where there is a grove of very large mature trees.
Interestingly enough, there is also an ailanthus growing next to
Devil’s Walking Stick is a native tree in parts of our country, mainly in the South. It was also a favorite in Victorian gardens apparently because of its “grotesque beauty.” It does not appear on most invasive lists but Rob Jennings has assured me that it is a problem in our area. He said that we should get rid of any that we have. There are two known stands in Borough rights of way, one along the Boulevard near the bottom of Martin’s Lane and one along Laurel Hill not far from the top of Martin’s Lane. Joan Best said that she had removed some from her yard as well. The best control is a Weed Wrench for most trees since they do not get too large. But a few will need to be treated with herbicide and then cut.
Diseases of the Woodlands: Cliff
large packet was handed out to the two committees which contained information
sheets on all of the following threats and more. There are now three new bark beetles
The Federal government has passed a law that bans the import of any untreated wood into this country. Thus, the wooden pallets that cargo is shipped on must be treated or the cargo is returned to the country of origin.
Wooly Adelgid is being fought with a Lady Beetle that eats them; however, they also bite people. Soapy water is still used on single trees sprayed from the ground up into the hemlock trees.
Emerald Ash Borer will be here in 10 years and could create the same problem for ash trees as the chestnut blight did for our American chestnut trees a century ago.
Oak Death has been found in
Marmorated Stink Bugs are an Asian insect that attack
a wide range of fruits, vegetable, and other host plants. Accidentally
been found in an old camping area two miles east of
are not yet in
Vernal Pools: Phil
pools are bodies of water that often evaporate during the summer; however, they
are normally present only in the spring time.
Amphibians can regenerate in these pools because fish cannot live there
and eat the eggs before they hatch.
people in town, including Phil and Jerry, volunteer for the NJ DEP Endangered
and Non-game Species Program in conducting inventories of vernal pools. Of
particular interest are the so-called obligate
species, those that are completely dependent on vernal pools for a portion
of their life cycle. These include wood frogs, spadefoot
toads, and five species of salamanders known collectively as mole salamanders. One way for a vernal
pool to be given special status for protection is to establish that one of the
obligate species are breeding at that pool. The pool
is then classified as certified. To
date, we have one certified vernal pool in the Borough: the pool adjacent to
the trail around
A question was raised about spraying for mosquitoes. The short answer is that the amphibians themselves are very good at mosquito control. Spraying kills both the mosquito larvae and the amphibian larvae. It is important that we determine which pools are significant for breeding amphibians so that the mosquito control operations can be guided accordingly.
are earthworms on the threat list? They
eat the “duff” which is the top level of soil; however, the rest of the ecosystem
requires this duff for survival. If
there is no duff, seeds cannot regenerate. There are no native earthworms in
Earthworms are beneficial to the soil when their numbers are limited by the many creatures that prey on them. These are the understory dwellers – birds, rodents, turtles, snakes, lizards, toads, salamanders and insects.
ket to a healthy woodlands, flora and fauna, is a
balance of nature, and a healthy, vital understory is
After the meeting, Phil gave us an excellent website for information about the earthworm problem: http://www.nrri.umn.edu/worms/
We agreed that the Woodlands Committee will furnish to the Shade Tree Commission a list of trees, shrubs, and plants that are problems in the woodlands because of their invasive nature, along with a list of good native alternatives.
We also agreed to exchange meeting minutes on a regular basis. All Woodlands meeting minutes can be found on the Woodlands website. We decided that it would be helpful if the Shade Tree minutes were also accessible from their website as well.
Workshops and Seminars
Linson suggested two seminars that Woodlands might
find useful. One is the CORE training as required under the New Jersey Shade
Tree and Community Forestry Act. This training is to be offered in
The other seminar is the 2006 Bartlett Tree Experts Winter Seminar to be held at Frelinghuysen Arboretum on Wednesday, March 8.
We agreed that we would try to have someone at each of these sessions.
Attachment 1. Bob Dewing
GENERAL FORESTRY, 10 YEARS OUT
Large areas of forest are
more capable of regeneration than the smaller areas we have in and around
The near total loss of understory and the predations of animal and human activity require an active forestry management program if we are to preserve the arboreal nature of our community.
The community needs to be engaged now; the effects of a regeneration program will not be felt for decades.
The program should include:
· Controlled felling of dead trees, especially those that have fallen into adjacent healthy trees,
· Replanting of trees in any open spaces created in our pocket parks,
· Construction of temporary tree protection to allow young trees to get above predator height,
· Selection of species to preclude a local monoculture which could be subject to disease,
· Reestablishment of an understory (a longer term goal).
We should strive to be remembered as the generation that recognized the impending problems with our woodlands and had the foresight to restore and replant for the benefit of our progeny.
Attachment 2. Bob Dewing
Sugar maple - Acer saccharum
Yellow birch - Betula alleghaniensis
Sweet or Black birch - Betula lenta
River birch - Betula nigra
Bitternut hickory - Carya cordiformis
Pignut hickory - Carya glabra
Shagbark hickory - Carya ovata
Mockernut hickory - Carya tomentosa
Hackberry - Celtis occidentalis
Atlantic white cedar - Chamaecyparis thyoides
American beech - Fagus grandifolia
White ash - Fraxinus americana
Green ash - Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Larch or Tamarack - Larix laricina
Tuliptree - Liriodendron tulipifera
Black spruce - Picea mariana
Red spruce - Picea rubens
Red pine - Pinus resinosa
Pitch pine - Pinus rigida
White pine - Pinus strobus
Sycamore - Platanus occidentalis
Swamp white oak - Quercus bicolor
Scarlet oak - Quercus coccinea
Pin oak - Quercus palustris
Chestnut oak - Quercus prinus
Red oak - Quercus rubra
Black oak - Quercus velutina
Black willow - Salix nigra
Linden or Basswood - Tilia americana
Eastern hemlock - Tsuga canadensis
Slippery elm - Ulmus rubra
Trees - Understory
Mountain maple - Acer spicatum
Speckled or rough alder - Alnus incana
Smooth alder - Alnus serrulata
Downy juneberry - Amelanchier arborea
Shadbush - Amelanchier canadensis
Smooth juneberry - Amelanchier laevis
Gray birch - Betula populifolia
Ironwood - Carpinus caroliniana
Alternate-leaf dogwood - Cornus alternifolia
Flowering dogwood - Cornus florida
Witch hazel - Hamamelis virginiana
Red cedar - Juniperus virginiana
Black gum - Nyssa sylvatica
Hophornbeam - Ostrya virginiana
Choke cherry - Prunus virginiana
Hoptree - Ptelea trifoliata
Aromatic sumac - Rhus aromatica
Winged sumac - Rhus coppalina
Nannyberry - Viburnum lentago
Possumhaw - Viburnum nudum
Blackhaw - Viburnum prunifolium
Prickly ash or Toothache tree - Zanthoxylum americanum
Attachment 3. Lynn Uhrig
Grub out with a shovel (Robert C. Jennings, Superintendent of Natural Resources Management, Morris County Park Commission, firstname.lastname@example.org; RVGC presentation 1/10/06)
Elizabeth Johnson, The Nature Conservancy, NJ: In the winter or spring cut the shrub at the base. If it resprouts, treat with glyphosate herbicide.
National Park Service, Exotic Plant Management Team: Before seeds develop apply herbicide and leave the plant in place to protect native plant regrowth. See Note 1, Page 2 re time to treat.
Also effective is cut and treat which is much faster than grubbing out with a shovel. (Lynn Uhrig)
Grub out with a shovel or cut and
treat with glyphosate herbicide such as Roundup. (
Repeated cutting of bush (deep tap
James O. Luken, Dept. Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky Univ.: Hand-pull shrubs less than 3 years old. Larger shrubs - cut and treat with 20 percent glyphosate herbicide. Avoid clipping in sunny sites as it can result in even greater stem densities. For the next two years hand-pull seedlings. (Seeds in the soil regenerate for about two years.)
Grub out young plants with a shovel or apply
herbicide. Rose-rosette disease, a native fungal pathogen, which is spread by a
tiny native mite, is killing multiflora rose in
states nearby; not in NJ yet. (
Plant Invaders of
Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, National Park
Cut stem and treat (
Spangler, R.L. 1977 Landscape Plants for the
Hand-pull before the plant is in fruit. Apply spot applications of glyphosphate herbicides to individual plants where hand pulling is not feasible. Herbicide treatment is most effective when applied toward the end of the growing season. Follow-up treatment may be needed to control plants that have sprouted from seeds in the soil.
Grub out with shovel or cut and
If simply cut, it will grow back thicker.
Pull out of ground. Roots grow
Victoria Nuzzo, Native
Weed wrench or two broadcast herbicide applications
starting in May. (
Plant Invaders of
Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, National Park
Mow or apply herbicide. (
Repetitive mowing starting in May or mow in May,
herbicide in July and mow again in Sept. (
Wipe with herbicide applied to
cloth glove on top of kitchen glove. (
Three insects for biological control are predicted
to eliminate purple loosestrife in ten years. Best to pull it
7. Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum)
John Mark Courtney, 1997, for Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve,
Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2004, pp. 22-23: Hand-pull anytime. Other methods: mowing before seed production; applying contact and systemic herbicides.
1. Rob Jennings said that
most herbicide treatments should be applied between July 15 and Nov. 15 when
plants transport chemicals to their roots.
2. At the Tourne Wildflower Trail the Rockaway Valley Garden Club members recognize invasive plants when they are very small plants. They can be easily pulled out by hand when the soil is moist.
Prepared by: Lynn Uhrig