Bloomberg Volunteers Beautify 9/11 Living Memorial

For the past 5 years, volunteers from Bloomberg have given their time, talents and muscle to beautify our 9/11 Living Memorial – the Grove of Remembrance. These dedicated folks have planted hundreds of shrubs and perennials, moved mountains of mulch and, this year, helped to re-gravel the memorial path. We have this event on the anniversary of 9/11, when possible. It is the NJ Tree Foundation’s and Bloomberg’s way of remembering those we lost by giving back to the community.

Bloomberg volunteers moving 150 yards of mulch
Bloomberg volunteers dividing perennials
Bloomberg volunteers redoing the Memorial path with fresh stone dust
Bloomberg volunteers rock!

Volunteer to Plant Trees in NJ

Are you ready? It’s almost time to start planting trees in NJ! At the NJ Tree Foundation, August is the time to get it all together. Tree applications processed and approved, trees ordered, blocks marked-out, and volunteer tree planting events scheduled.

If you have never volunteered to plant a tree, I invite you to join one of our community-based tree planting events in Newark or Camden, NJ. Not to pat ourselves on the back (OK, we are patting!), but we do tree plantings right! Camden and Newark residents are completely responsible for organizing and planting their own trees. Outside volunteers are welcome for two reasons: 1. Our trees weigh 600-800 pounds; and 2. We would like you to see what the REAL Camden and Newark are all about.

So, dig out those old work boots and paint splattered jeans, and join us! We provide all tools, gloves and water. Residents provide snacks after the planting!

Click here for a schedule of Camden NJ tree planting events.

Accolade Elm – Urban Tolerant Tree #1

Ulmus ‘Accolade’ is a cross of Chinese and Japanese species resistant to Dutch Elm Disease (EDE). Before DED wiped out most of the Elms, the main street in my hometown was lined with Elm trees, creating a shaded canopy. We had an Elm in my front yard until a few years back. Each year another limb would succumb to disease. My Dad pruned that tree until there was nothing but one main limb. It finally had to be removed completely.

The NJ Tree Foundation planted these Accolade Elms 4 years ago in Liberty State Park, Jersey City.

Liberty State Park is my litmus test for tree urban tolerance. If a tree survives in the Park, it can tolerate horrible “soil”, drought and lack of drainage. As you can see, the Accolade Elms are not only surviving, they are thriving!

August Is Forest Pest Awareness Month in NJ

In New Jersey, August has been proclaimed Forest Pest Awareness Month by the NJ Dept. of Agriculture. Good thing, too. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is encroaching on our Garden State. It has been found in 14 states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

NJ already has battled Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB). First found in Jersey City, the beetle then moved on to infect trees in other cities and towns. At that time the state had funding from the Feds to monitor, target, remove and re-plant trees in infested areas.

So what does Forest Pest Awareness Month mean? It means the NJ Dept. of Ag has issued a press release talking about bad insects and warning campers to not move firewood (Press release). That’s a start. And educating the public is a good thing…it WAS a Jersey City resident that discovered Asian Longhorned Beetle…But, I’m thinking that since NJ is practically surrounded by states with EAB, shouldn’t we be doing more? I’d love to here your thoughts.

Trees and the Ocean

Jersey Shore water quality ranked 14th out of 30, and the “water exceeded the national standard for bacteria in 5 percent of the samples tested in 2009 – up from 3 percent the prior year” (NRDC report). YUCK! So, what do trees have to do with clean beaches? Everything. One 2″ caliper tree will intercept 155 gallons of stormwater runoff. Once that tree is mature, it will intercept a whopping 3,040 gallons of stormwater. Intercepting stormwater runoff means our sewerage drains don’t overflow. Because when they overflow, RAW sewage runs into our streams and our ocean.

I remember all the beach closings in the late ’80s. Seemed the beaches were always closed on the hottest days of the summer. So, NJ, let’s clean up our act and plant more trees to keep our beaches clean and open!