Author Topic: State Champion Trees in Hackensack  (Read 9452 times)

ericmartindale

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State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« on: April 09, 2006, 12:04:57 AM »
The State Forest Service publishes a listing of the largest "known" specimen trees for each species in the State. Via letter of April 9th, I am nominating six trees in Hackensack, one in Maywood, and one in Plainfield as new State Champions.

Whether or not they are actually State Champions is uncertain, because other persons may have nominated larger specimens since the last time the list was published.

One of the very largest trees of ANY species in the entire State is in Hackensack. This specimen is the great Cottonwood in Foschini Park, growing northwest of the baseball field house. Another potential champion in a city park is the Mimosa in The Green. Special care must be taken by the city DPW to safeguard the health of these trees.

To follow is the actual letter to the State Forest Service, with descriptions of each nomination >>>>>>>>>

April 9, 2006

NJDEP
Division of Parks & Forestry
State Forest Service
PO Box 404
Trenton, NJ 08625

REF:    BIG TREE LIST
   8 NOMINATIONS FOR STATE CHAMPION TREE

I wish to submit the following eight nominations for State Champion Trees, based either on points or circumference. See attached photos of each:

(1)   EASTERN COTTONWOOD (Populus deltoids) - There is a Cottonwood located near the baseball field house in Foschini Park, Hackensack, NJ that measured 190 at a height of 4.5 on 2/11/06. I nominate this specimen based on points, not circumference. The Foschini Cottonwood will score high on the 3-parameter standard, +/- 350. This is a magnificent specimen (see photo). This tree is about 100 in height, with the trunk dividing into 3 massive trunks at a height of about 20. It has a well-balanced crown. I believe that this is one of the very largest trees in the State of New Jersey of any species, based either on total points or wood volume. The Foschini Cottonwood is growing very rapidly on a dirt-covered ash & cinder landfill (circa 1880?) only a few feet above sea level. It has gained nearly 3 in circumference since I first measured it about 20 years ago. The total wood volume of this specimen leaves the viewer awe-struck. The enclosed photo does it no justice; it must be seen upfront.


Eastern Cottonwood

(2)   UMBRELLA MAGNOLIA (M. tripetala) --- Your Exotic Tree list says the record Umbrella Magnolia is 410, a Pennsylvania specimen. I measured one 411 at a height of 4.5 feet on 2/11/06. Is this the new state champion? This tree is along the south side of Fairmount Ave about 200 feet west of Summit Avenue in Hackensack, NJ. The address is 655 Summit Avenue. This specimen is not healthy.


Umbrella Magnolia

(3)   MIMOSA (Albizia julibrissin) --- You list the record Mimosa in NJ as 510. I measured one 66 at a height of 3 on 2/11/06. Is this the new state champion? This tree is in a historic public park, The Green, at Main and Washington Streets in the heart of downtown Hackensack. Tree appears to be healthy.


Mimosa

(4)   SLIPPERY ELM (Ulmus rubra) --- I measured a specimen 148 along the curb across the street from 840 South Ave, Plainfield, NJ on 4/8/2006. (Sorry, photo is not yet developed). Is this the new state champion? Your 1998 directory says you seek nominations for this species. Theres a good chance to find many State Champion trees in Plainfield, Westfield, and Montclair, I suspect.

(5)   EUROPEAN BEECH --- I measured a specimen 1310 on the front lawn of 46 E. Central Avenue, Maywood, NJ 07601 in February, 2006. The Exotic Tree list records a 153 specimen at the Morris Arboretum in Pennsylvania, but there is no listing for NJ. Is this the new state champion? The homeowner is an Austrian immigrant, and takes great pride in maintaining this tree.


European Beech

(6)   RED PINE --- You list the State Champion as 78 in Middletown, NJ. I measured one 810 on the front lawn of an Elks Lodge located at First and Berry Streets in Hackensack, NJ. Is this the new state champion? (see photo).


Redpine

(7)   WITCH HAZEL --- You have no published record for this species, so Ill nominate the largest one in the Borgs Woods, an old growth forest. Several are over 13, and I measured one that was just shy of 14 circumference on March 19, 2006. Many Witch Hazel in Borgs Woods are over 3 in diameter, therefore they are trees, not shrubs. This 14 specimen is located in the Borgs Woods Nature Preserve about 80 feet south of Fairmount Avenue (Hackensack, NJ), in the vicinity of 350 Fairmount Ave. Is this the new state champion? Unfortunately, a specimen close to 18 in circumference was killed a few years ago when Fairmount Ave was extended.


Witch Hazel

(8.   EASTERN HOPHORNBEAM --- You list the State Champion at 311 in Montclair, NJ. Im sure there are plenty of larger ones hiding out there. I measured one at 48 at a height of 18 in Hackensack River County Park, in Hackensack, NJ. Is this the new state champion? This specimen is along the bank of the Hackensack River about 40 feet south of the mouth of an unnamed stream (locally known as Vornado Creek) that starts as a ditch along the south side of the Pathmark Shopping Center parking lot. The tree uprooted over 20 years ago, but has recurved upwards and is very much alive as a bizarre twisted specimen.


Eastern Hophornbean

(9)   TALLEST TREES - The Big Tree List mentions that the tallest officially measured tree is 135 feet.  There are some big ones in Hackensacks Borgs Woods that might be in that range. One that blew down in 1979 measured 125 feet on the ground, and it wasnt the tallest in the woods (see www.hackensacknow.com/Borgswoods.html for more info on Borgs Woods).  However, Beechwood Forest, a town-owned nature area in Harrington Park has the highest canopy of any old-growth forest that I have yet visited, even surpassing Helyars Woods in New Brunswick. The largest Beech measured 121 on 2/11/06, and the trunk forks into two massive limbs at an amazing height, perhaps 75 feet. I call it the King Beech. Good chance that it is about 135 in height, and there are TALLER Beech nearby (but with lesser circumference). 

For your next edition, please publish a ranking of all trees over 20 feet in circumference, regardless of rank within the species. Im sure there are many huge old White Oak and other trees over 20 in circumference that are not State Champions. They simply must be recognized. Call it the 20-foot club.  And print another list for the top ten trees based on points.

Sadly, I must report that the state record Bigtooth Aspen, at 181 Cedar Ave, Hackensack, NJ, died a number of years ago. Unsure of the cause of death. I reported this tree back in the 1980s, and my name appears in the 1998 New Jerseys Big Trees publication.

The attached photos have notes on the back of each.  I can e-mail you the digital versions of the photos, simply contact me at (edited) and request them.

Sincerely,


Eric Martindale, Jr.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2006, 02:44:07 PM by Editor »



Offline Editor

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2006, 02:30:32 AM »
Pictures added above.

Eric Martindale

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 11:04:51 PM »
QUESTION:  For the recent "Tree City" event, why didn't Hackensack officials gather around the huge mimosa tree in The Green. That's the Mimosa which is significantly larger than the documented State Champion Mimosa, and was recently nominated for the new State Champion (see the above text and picture)

ANSWER:  Because it was needlessly cut down as part of the renovation for The Green.  That's right, it was CUT DOWN.

Does anyone know why this seemingly healthy tree was cut ???

Offline Skipx219

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2006, 11:26:03 AM »
 Have you seen the tree at the rear of 547 Main St (Dr. Santucci's office ). I believe it's a Copper Beech. It reminds me of the tree the stood in front of the old Red Lion Inn.

Eric Martindale

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2006, 11:30:09 PM »
As for the cutting of the champion Mimosa on The Green, I got first-hand testimony today that its death was ordered by a very well known PRIVATE CITIZEN in Hackensack (an anti-tree activist and an aspiring politician) who has been meddling in the affairs of the city DPW for over 10 years.  Nobody in city government or the DPW really wanted that tree cut.  Im still deciding the appropriate format in which to make a public statement on this SHOCKING relevation.

Skip, thanks for the tip on the Copper Beech.  I went and measured the Copper Beech at 547 Main Street on the off chance that it's bigger than the Maywood specimen of European Beech which I nominated as State Champion.  It measured 10'5", a respectable specimen.  The Maywood specimen is 13'10".  Copper Beech is not a species, it's just a variety of European Beech developed by horticulturalists.  Weeping Beech, commonly planted in cemeteries, is another  such "breed" of the same species.

All trees over 10 in circumference in Hackensack should be identified and catalogued by the citys Shade Tree Commission.  The Copper Beech that I remember from the vacant Red Lion Inn property certainly exceeded the Maywood specimen.  Cynthia Ryan, the citys leading tenant activist in the 1970s and early 80s, told me around 1987 that the Red Lion Inn tree was cut specifically to spite her after she began a push to save it. Hekemian & Company, owner of the property (and one of the citys largest landlords), ordered the cutting. I think it was cut around 1983, does anyone remember? It would have been possible to slice the trunk into 3 slabs and use them as tables, thats how big it was. It had such an immense and rounded crown. It symbolized where downtown ended and Fairmount began more than any sign could have done.

Offline Skipx219

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 12:22:13 PM »
 I spoke to Dr. Santucci this morning. He said the Red Lion Inn tree was cut down in 1981 - 1982. The sound of chainsaws woke him up that morning and the tree was down in a flash.
 I was there the night the Red Lion Inn burned down
( 1971 - 1972 ). Everyone was upset about losing the Inn but we all thought that we lost the tree to the radiant heat from the fire as well. Then we lost it to the chainsaw 10 years later. It should have been saved!

ericmartindale

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2006, 11:08:55 AM »
I see on page L-1 of today's Record that Leo Battaglia (who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2001) is demanding that a tree be cut on Herman Street. 

"If people hate trees so much, they shouldn't be living in the Fairmount Section of Hackensack" --- That's what my Mom used to say back in the 1970's, and she was right.

Back then, a lot of people were moving from Hudson County or Hackensack's First Ward to the Fairmount Section, and the first thing they did was cut all the trees on their property.  In 1979, a man moved into the sprawling ranch on the NE corner of Summit and Elm Avenue. Not soon after, he cut down A DOZEN massive trees, mostly Tuliptrees, in the Fall of 1979.  It was a galvanizing action. People who were brought to tears by that travesty; many of the same people who later became members of the Borg's Woods Preservation Coalition.  Neighbors talked about it for years, and missed the splendid yellow coloring every Fall. Why did he cut them?  Ironically because they survived Tropical Storm David.  But another huge Tuliptree along the curb at 609 Summit Ave didn't and uprooted in a spectacular way. That got him paranoid about his trees.

Trees are a big part of what the Fairmount neighborhood is all about.  I'm the first one to advocate cutting a diseased tree, or to remove a dead tree.  I once requested that a completely dead Horsechestnut tree along Railroad Ave near Central Ave removed after a branch fell on someone's car.  But healthy living trees have got to be left alone.

City Manager Steve LoIacono is standing firm, stating that the DPW sees no problem with the tree, and that it is not going to be cut.  Good for him.

And here's the final twist --- One of Battaglia's closest allies, and former council candidate, lived in the house where the trees at Summit and Elm Ave (I was told in 2001 that another family member ordered the cutting, who knows if that is true).  And another of Battaglia's allies and former council candidates is Kathleen Salvo. 

Yep, the same Kathleen Salvo who was so insistent that the city cut the nominated State Champion Mimosa in The Green near the Courthouse. LoIacono says that he consulted with the DPW and Shade Tree Commission and they concurred that the tree was extremely old and "ready to go".  LoIacono was very firm in stating that Salvo does not dictate any policy decisions, and I believe him.  But I can't help but wonder that if Salvo hadn't opened her BIG MOUTH in the first place, nobody else would have thought of cutting that tree, and Hackensack would have the State Champion Mimosa. 

These political wanna-bees have really shown their true colors, they know even less about trees than taxes or city planning, which was virtually nothing.  If I had realized that these people were a bunch of tree haters and anti-environmentalists, I would have never even considered supporting their bid for office in 2001. 

And I'll be watching if any of them ever runs again.

Offline Skipx219

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 09:52:39 AM »
I hope they don't cut this one down... like the tree that was in front of the old " Red Lion Inn "

http://www.northjersey.com/news/98297314_Tree_on_chopping_block.html

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 10:14:47 PM »
18.5 feet circumference ???  I wonder if they measured at 4.5' above ground, that's the standard to measure a tree.  That's close to state record size for Northern Red Oak, which is what that Teaneck tree is.  I know that tree.

The tree at the Red Lion Inn was a non-native European Beech, specifically a cultivated version known as a Copper Beech.  The leaves were purplish all year round.  There are several cultivated versions of the European Beech.  YES, it was probably the record for all European Beech in New Jersey, and by several feet circumference.

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 02:03:23 PM »
I saw this in The Record the other day.  The State Record Northern Red Oak in Wyckoff was massacred by a storm 10 years ago, there was an article in The Record about that. 

Two of the trees nominated in Hackensack a few years ago are already gone. These are the Umbrella Magnolia on Fairmount Avenue which was just about dead, and the infamous Mimosa on The Green.  There's information about that Mimosa on this string.

The great Foschini Cottonwood is still alive and well.  The below article also mentions a previous state record tree in Hackensack, a Bigtooth Aspen, that had been cut.

State searching for the biggest trees in New Jersey
Friday, September 3, 2010
BY JAMES M. O'NEILL
The Record
STAFF WRITER
You got a big ol' tree in your yard? A really big ol' tree? The state Division of Parks and Forestry wants to know.

The division has begun updating a list, first created in 1954, of the largest known specimens of each native and naturalized species of tree in the state. The list was last updated in 1998, said Deedee Burnside of Waldwick, who has been helping track down trees already on the list to get new measurements.

Trees get to be considered for "Big Tree" status based on their trunk's circumference as well as height and distance the leaf canopy or crown spreads.

North Jersey has its share of the state's champion trees there's a black walnut in Saddle River measuring 18 feet 8 inches around; a ginkgo in Oradell and southern catalpa in Paramus bulked up to 17 feet around; a red maple in West Milford with a trunk circumference of 15 feet, 5 inches; an ailanthus in Wood-Ridge at 11 feet, 17 inches around; and an apple (malus pumila) in Wayne measuring 13 feet 2 inches around, Burnside said.

The state's biggest known red oak, with a circumference of more than 21 feet, grows in Wyckoff. The red oak is New Jersey's official state tree. Some 100 species of tree are included in the list.

About half of the trees that were on the 1998 list have since been cut down, primarily because of development, according to Evan Dilluvio, a forester with the state's Community Forestry Program.

Among the trees that were lost were a Kentucky coffeetree in Tenafly, a scarlet oak in Paramus and a bigtooth aspen in Hackensack, Burnside said. With that in mind, the division hopes someday to have a program in place to protect the tallest known specimens.

The big trees "produce many environmental benefits for New Jersey residents," writes Dilluvio in a new flier promoting the Big Tree update project. Trees release oxygen into the atmosphere, ease storm water runoff by absorbing rainwater into their roots, help hold soil in place, absorb pollution and lower air temperature around them by as much as 12 degrees by creating shade and releasing water vapor, Dilluvio writes.

Some "also have historic value, and have been around for hundreds of years," he said.

If you think you have a candidate for "Big Tree" status, start by measuring the circumference of the trunk 4.5 feet above the ground, or 4.5 feet from the uphill side if on a slope. If the tree has a branch or abnormal swelling at that height, take the measurement below that point, where the trunk returns to normal.

To nominate a tree for the Big Tree program, fill out the form on the state Department of Environmental Protection website. Go to communityforestry.nj.gov and click on "Champion Trees." The DEP site also has information on how to determine the height of a tree.


Offline BLeafe

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 01:40:09 AM »
...that Teaneck tree...I know that tree.

Me too.

Here it is a couple of days ago. The second picture is one of the very first pictures I ever took - it's almost 53 years old and I'm pretty sure that most of that roundish blob on the right is the same tree.

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Re: State Champion Trees in Hackensack
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2010, 12:02:30 PM »

The State published the new directory of Champion Trees.  http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/forest/community/bigtree_registry.html

None of the trees nominated by Martindale made the list.  And they still show the Red Pine in Middletown New Jersey, at 7'8" circumference, as the record, and they haven't updated the circumference of that tree from ten years ago. I'm sure it has grown, so the accuracy of their list is in doubt.

Maybe the tree at First and Berry Streets that we think is a Red Pine is actually some other species?  Maybe they came up and looked at it, and identified it as something else.

 

anything