Shade Tree Commission

Mission Statement:

The Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission’s (STC) purpose is to protect, preserve and enhance the shade trees in the village.  Shade Trees are defined as Trees planted next to streets on the Village’s property.   The STC’s goals are to foster public-private partnerships to 1) educate the community about the contribution shade trees make to the Village environment and,  2) increase the number of shade trees in the village by actively promoting community tree planting programs.


Commission Members


George Wolfson (Chairperson)


Michael Sedon (Council Member)


Monica Buesser


Stephen Lillis


Andrew Lowry


Crystal Matsibekker


Edward Schwartz (Alternate)


John Sharkey


Manish Shrimali



Who to contact:

·         Emergency - a tree or branch is broken or down and poses a safety risk…………….……………..911

·         Report problem or concern -  Tim Cronin (Parks and Recreation Dept.) ………….…201-670-5565   

·         General Information - about trees, regulations, getting involved….…….RST@RidgewoodNJ.NET


Contact Us



Brief History;

After several decades of low Village priority a group of community members worked to increase awareness of the decline in the health and number of shade trees in the Village.  Their efforts eventually resulted in the Village Council appointing a Shade Tree Commission in 2014.  In fact, this was a reestablishment of a Shade Tree Commission which had prospered is the 30’s-50’s and was responsible for planting most of the trees we now enjoy.





Current Status:

The commission members have been appointed and plans to plant 12 ornamental trees this spring in the central business district (downtown) and 20 shade trees in the fall.  This is a very small program due to limited funds in the Village Budget.  In fact, the Village generally removes more trees than it plants every year.  One of the STC’s goals is to raise funds to significantly increase the number of trees planted each year.


Current Projects




How citizens can get involved;

1.      Request a town tree – a limited number of trees is planted by the Village each year.  There is, unfortunately, a long waiting list and priority is given to areas with the most need.

2.      Adopt-a-tree program

3.      Encourage involvement of community groups in tree planting/adopting programs.  


How can I get involved




Village Code Regulations

There are general guidelines and regulations such as recommended trees, planting locations and setbacks which apply to planting Shade Trees.  The STC is in the process of developing additional materials to encourage successful planting or replacing shade trees.


Village Rules and Regulations




What is a Village “ Shade Tree”?


A Village shade tree is a tree which belongs to the Village and is planted in the right-of-way of a Village street.   This may include the median between the street and the sidewalk but can also include trees planted where no sidewalk exists or on the property owner’s side of the sidewalk.  The width of the right-of-way can vary from street to street. It is measured from the center of the street to the property owner’s land.  The distance can vary from 10 to 15 ft. depending on the location. (check village tax map for specific locations)


Village Shade trees are the responsibility of the Village and cannot be removed or pruned without Village permission.


Why Are Shade Trees Important?

Shade Trees:

·         Provide shade to cool homes, streets, in fact, the entire Village

·         Cooler homes require less air conditioning which reduces energy costs and its impact on the environment.

·         Clean air and reduce ozone and C02 levels

·         Generate oxygen for “fresher, healthier” air

·         Reduce rainwater run-off and erosion and stream pollution

·         Provide habit for wildlife

·         Increase the beauty and serenity of the Village

·         Increase property values and the sense of Village commitment to the community 



Last updated as of: 5/15/2015