Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Shade Tree Meeting Minutes 06/02/10

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Morris Plains Shade Tree Commission held on June 2, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the Borough Chamber. Present at roll call were:


Present: Mrs. Margaret Law

Mr. Donald Salerno

Mr. Dave Visscher

Mr. Lloyd Williams, Chairman

Mr. Robert Dubee, Forester

Absent: Mr. Lawrence Travaglia




Mr. Williams called the meeting to order. He stated that adequate notice of this meeting has been posted and published in accordance with Chapter 231 of the Public Law of 1975, "Open Public Meetings Act."



Mr. Salerno moved that the minutes of the April 7, 2010 meeting be accepted as presented, seconded by Mr. Visscher. Voice vote. All in favor. Motion carried.



Mr. Williams opened the meeting to the public to speak on matters other than those on the agenda. No comments were forthcoming, and this portion of the meeting was closed to the public.



The Commission Secretary stated she has provided the budget sheet today. She added that it is expected that the Borough’s budget will be approved some time this month.


Mr. Williams remarked that a total of $31,000 remains in the current budget. He expressed some concern about possibly not being able to make some payments until the Borough’s budget is approved.


Mrs. Law asked whether items can be moved based on the pending passage of the budget. Is this possible or should the Commission wait another month?


Mr. Williams replied that he believes payments can be approved, but that the work order would not be sent at that time.


Mr. Dubee thought all payments could be approved, but that the actual payment could be held until the official approval of the Borough’s budget.


Cross discussion about work still to be done, payments to be made, and doing work now pending the passage of the budget.



There were no communications.



Mr. Dubee referred to a February report/work sheet and noted that everything on it has been taken care of. Is there a need to continuing publishing this?


It was decided to leave everything as is until replacement of many trees by Cerbo.


Mr. Dubee reported on some work that has been done recently. He needs to double check on some other work to determine whether the necessary work has actually been done yet.


The Commission Secretary advised she will also check on whether certain purchase orders were prepared, processed, and paid.


Mr. Dubee stated that he, too, will double check his invoices to determine which were done and paid and which may still be outstanding or need to be sent to the Borough.


8 Trowbridge Road – Mr. Dubee stated the removal of this tree was purchased order; but to date has not been taken down.

15 Hillview Avenue – Forester stated that (1) under12" tree needs to be pruned.

22 Hillview Avenue – Forester stated that (1) under 12" w/stump needs to be removed. Mr. Dubee stated that because of the small space between the sidewalk and the curbing, it may be a better idea not to plant a replacement tree.


Mr. Salerno commented on trees located on Hillview Avenue, Rosedale Avenue, Diana Road, and possibly other locations. Many of the trees are uprooting sidewalks. He believes the problem is the space between the curbing and the sidewalk. The Mayor has suggested not planting trees between the sidewalk and the curbing in the future. If a resident requests a tree and agrees to "move it inside" as previously discussed, the Commission can do this. Even though the Commission provides and plants the tree, once on the resident’s property the tree becomes the resident’s responsibility.


Mrs. Law asked if there should be documentation in a situation like this, especially in light of a property being sold. Did the Department of Public Works (DPW) do any work to fill in the lift with cement?


Mr. Salerno responded that this is a question that still needs an answer. Filling in the lift does not satisfy the safety issue. He also mentioned a tree near the Borough Annex that is actually pushing the Belgian block curbing over. A similar situation exists on Diana Road.


Cross discussion about how to handle any situation where a resident requests a tree and the Commission provides and plants a tree on private property because of the sidewalk/curbing space problem.


Mrs. Law referred to a survey done in connection with Franklin Place.


Mr. Salerno thought the better course of action may be that if there is a bad tree to just take it down without offering to plant a replacement tree on the resident’s property. If a resident directly requests a tree, the Commission could discuss it with this resident.


Cross discussion regarding Diana Road issues and a number of other Borough streets that face similar problems. The problem on Diana Road and the other streets is that the space between the curbing and sidewalks is narrow and as a result the tree roots eventually begin to uproot the sidewalks.


Mrs. Law recommended that a policy addressing the tree planting problems on streets such as Diana Road be developed prior to fall planting. There is just one more meeting before September. She expressed her concern that problems such as this will lead to less and less street trees.


84 Mountain Way – Forester stated (1) 24"-36" tree w/stump needs to be taken down.

56 Dogwood Road – Forester stated that (1) 12"-36" apple tree needs to be pruned.

40 Glenbrook Road – Forester stated that (1) under 12" w/stump needs to be taken down.

21 Idlewild Drive – Forester stated that almost every tree at this location has been removed. There are two Borough trees remaining in the front, and he suggested that they be saved. (1) oak – (1) maple under 12" need pruning.

115 GlenbrookRd. – Forester stated (1) 12"-24" needs to be pruned.

1 Winding Way – Forester stated that (2) 24"-36" trees need pruning.

19 Cutler Road – Forester stated that (2) under 12" trees need pruning pruned.

49 Old Wood Road – Forester stated that (2) 12-24" trees need pruning.

56 Old Wood Road – Forester stated that (1) 12"-24" tree w/stump needs to be removed.

58 Old Wood Road – Forester stated that (1) under 12" tree needs to pruning.

28 Sunrise Drive – Forester stated this is a corner lot (2) under 12" on Sunrise and (2) under 12" on Sun Valley Way need to be pruned. Two trees are on Sunrise Drive and two other trees are on Sun Valley Way. The trees on Sunrise Drive need pruning. All are under 12" and are nice trees. The trees on Sun Valley Way need to be elevated.

27 Sylvan Drive – Forester stated (1) 36"+ tree w/stump needs to be taken down.

Sylvan Drive (Pump Station) Forester stated (1) 36"+ tree w/stump needs to be taken down.

25 Harrison Avenue – Forester stated that (1) 12"-24" tree fell down and is leaning on another tree on Borough property in the rear of the house and should be removed.

Morris Plains Pharmacy – Forester stated that these are not Borough trees. He will be notify the Pharmacy.

25 Diana Road, 26 Diana Road – All work is complete.

Across from 2 Kosakowski Drive – Forester stated that (1) tree was hit by a car and has been removed. The (2) remaining trees are fine; only one tree needs to be replaced.


The Commission Secretary asked if the Forester received the six or so memoranda that came in today.


The Forester stated he had not seen them; he did not go to the office today. He will review them and report back at the Commission’s July meeting.


The Commission Secretary will provide copies of these memoranda to the Forester.


Cross discussion of a tree in the Mayfair Road island and several other trees at other locations, including work being done in connection with a leaning tree on Sylvan Drive.


Mr. Salerno moved to approve the work sheet, seconded by Mr. Visscher. Voice vote. All in favor. Motion carried.





The Commission Secretary advised she heard that the Arbor Day event was very nice. She has everything she needs for next year. Mrs. Terhune is retiring and will not be involved with the Arbor Day event next year. The Commission Secretary advised she had called about receiving a tree for this event; however, she was told that all the trees had already budded, and they could not be removed from the ground at this time. When a tree can be removed for transplanting, the Borough will be notified.



Mrs. Law advised that Councilman Karr spoke with her about Cutler Road. She asked if the Forester would check to see if some of the trees need elevating, especially in front of Mr. Ralph Lopez’s house.


Mr. Salerno commented on other areas where trees need elevating. He believes that some or all of the elevating work can be done by the DPW staff. This kind of work has been done by the DPW staff in the past. A list can be made and provided to Mr. Signorelli, and he can check to see how much of the work can be done by the DPW staff.


Cross discussion about certain problem trees within the Borough that cause sight distance problems, especially a certain Pine tree. These are not Borough trees, but could possibly be addressed as safety issues.


There being no further business, Mr. Visscher moved the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Mr. Salerno. Voice vote. All in favor. Motion carried.


Karen M. Coffey

Commission Secretary


Maureen Sullivan

Recording Secretary