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Posted on: January 4, 2024

Planting Trees to Reduce Stormwater Effects

trees

Thanks to a very generous New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) grant, the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission is working with the Township of Berkeley Heights on a three-year project to purchase and plant trees along the right of way (within 8 to 10 feet from the curb).   

Trees sequester carbon and improve air quality.  They provide shade that can cool your property and help reduce flooding, soaking up water and preventing excess runoff. Planting trees is particularly important because  homes increase nonporous surfaces. If you currently experience excess water and/or poor drainage on your property, planting trees can help. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, trees also create healthier, safer, and more connected communities. 

The Commission has surveyed locations for trees in the Township. If the area around your home has been identified as a suitable place to plant (a) tree(s), you would have received a letter from us. We will be planting trees accordingly unless you contact us letting us know you do not want a tree planted in the ROW adjacent to your property. Utility companies recently did markouts in the areas where trees are planned; small flags may be seen in these areas for March 2024 planting: Arden Court, Briarwood, Cornell Ave, Dogwood Lane, Emerson Lane, Ferndale Drive, Forest Ave, Garfield St, Hastings Rd, Holly Glen, Kline, Lillian Ct., Old Farm Road, Orchard Lane, Park Ave, Mercier Place, Princeton Ave, Riverbend Rd, Shadow Lane, Station St., Washington St., and others. 

The choice of trees, which are all native species, depends on whether there are overhead utilities and sidewalks.  If there are, then a smaller tree will be planted.  You can request the species, but the exact species will depend on availability. 

When it comes time to plant (March 2024, pushed back from January 2024 due to weather), the vendor will have the site marked for underground utilities, and we will put a stake in the lawn, generally to one side or the other of the front door.  You may move the stake left or right, but the tree needs to be planted within 8 to 10 feet of the curb. The tree will have a watering bag (also called a gator bag), which needs to be filled once a week over the months following the planting to help it flourish and benefit you and your neighborhood.  

If you have received this letter, please email  EC@bhtwp.com so we have your email address and to let us know if you can fill the bag.  We can also send you further information about the planting.  If you do not want a tree, please email EC@bhtwp.com. If you prefer to call with this information, please call 908-464-2700, 2123.

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