Hoboken isn’t a Tree City!

tree-city-usa.gifBack at the beginning of April, it was pointed out that two 100-year old trees were carelessly killed over in Church Square Park.

Shortly thereafter, Hoboken was recently awarded the designation of being a qualified “Tree City USA” member (as written in the 4/9/2007 Reporter Roundup).

One reader was angry enough to object to Hoboken’s designation and wrote a complaint to the National Arbor Day Foundation to protest this, and Hoboken will be now be under greater scrutiny during the re-certification process next year.

Read the letter and the responses that were received!

To Whom It May Concern:

Many in Hoboken, New Jersey were distressed to see that Hoboken was named a “Tree City USA” again this year, as reported in our local paper, The Hoboken Reporter. Any avid tree lover or gardener in Hoboken knows that City Hall has nothing but a “hate-hate” relationship with our city’s trees.

Most upsetting, he news of Hoboken’s designation as a Tree City USA came just a few days after the city cut down two hundred-year-old plus elms in one of our city parks to make way for another horrid toddler playground. And this wasn’t the first time!


For more details about the current debate, please visit:

And to see an update on how the City Council and the Mayor have chosen to deal with the issue, see the report on the City Council 4/19/07 meeting at:

Our town has been overtaken by over-development in recent years and many magnificent 100-year old trees have been lost in the process. The city’s residents have been locked in battle with City Hall and particularly Mayor Roberts for several years now, desperately trying to protect the little green space we have left and holding the Mayor to his campaign promises of building more city parks and green spaces for our children. He has failed us on every one of those promises and has instead sold off city land for luxury condominium high rises, not parks.

I would encourage you strongly to reconsider designating Hoboken a Tree City USA and instead contact the Mayor and let him know that the National Arbor Day Foundation — a great protector of the country’s great trees — does NOT support Hoboken City Hall’s failure to protect old trees and green space.

Angered Citizen

Read the response below!!

Dear Angered Citizen,

Thank you for writing to express your concern about Hoboken’s Tree City USA designation.

Through the Tree City USA recognition it is hoped that both officials and civilians have an increased understanding of the benefits of trees and an enhanced sensitivity to the importance of their care.

Tree City USA status does not automatically mean that tress will never be removed for any purpose. Sometimes there are necessary reasons. However, we encourage communities to work together to save as many trees as possible during development. We hope that the value of trees is fully examined in any decision and that careful consideration is given to find ways to save trees. The Foundation is working to educate city officials, developers and others that it is possible to preserve trees and still achieve the effect desired through the development.

A note of this complaint has been made in the Tree City Database, and we will take a close look at Hoboken’s recertification application for next year.

A letter has been sent to the Secretary of the Shade Tree Commission for Hoboken expressing your concern over the tree removal during construction. A copy of the letter is attached. I encourage you to contact your Tree City local contact:

James Ronga
Secretary, Shade Tree Commission
94 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(201) 239-6630

You may also desire to contact the Area Coordinator for Hoboken:

Erica Manderson
New Jersey Community Forestry
Tree City Coordinator
501 E. State Street
P.O. Box 404
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-2532

Through the Tree City USA program and other efforts of The National Arbor Day Foundation we hope that all Americans can be made more aware of the value and importance of tree care. Citizen watchfulness is vital in maintaining quality tree care and we appreciate your interest and concern.

Gretchen Petersen
Program Services Assistant


Letter sent to Secretary:
May 3, 2007

James Ronga
Secretary, Shade Tree Commission
94 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Dear Mr. Ronga:

The Foundation recently received a letter expressing concern that Hoboken has been designated a Tree City USA when hundred-year old elm trees were removed from a city park for developmental purposes.

Our response to the concerned citizen explained that Tree City USA status does not automatically mean that no trees will ever be removed for any purpose. Sometimes there are necessary reasons. The Foundation is concerned about the destruction of trees during development, but we also understand that tree removal during construction is occasionally unavoidable. We hope that the value of trees is fully considered in any decisions and that careful consideration is given to finding ways to save as many trees as possible. We also encourage that tree replacement is considered to make up for the loss of any trees.

I encouraged the writer to contact you directly with their concerns.

We want you to be aware of this concern within your Tree City USA community.


Jill Chaput
Program Coordinator

cc: Erica Manderson

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kooky kat
kooky kat
Thursday, May 17, 2007 11:56 am

Did anyone notice that they planted 2 new trees in this park? (It was last night, I was in a rush – because it was raining pretty hard, I think it was 2!) Also, the fenced in “pile of dirt” that was there last week is no longer fenced in, or a pile of dirt. I was sure it would be another toddler playground of which there are already 3.

Dr. Midnight
Dr. Midnight
Saturday, May 5, 2007 8:59 am

It is my dream that while children play in the park, the rotted trees fall and crush the empty double-wide baby strollers parked underneath. Death to the double-wide!

Friday, May 4, 2007 9:04 pm

Bloomfield and 3rd was another great street tree that was cut down last year (in front of the laundromat). Now it was filled in with concrete, wiping away all evidence of its existence. Funny that we bemoan all the terrible flooding of a few weeks ago but ignore the fact that every tree can absorb as much as 400-500 GALLONS of rainfall!

Friday, May 4, 2007 6:32 pm

Matt_72 I have a better idea. Instead of trimming the trees for the powerlines, how about instead they bury the powerlines already!!!! There are no above ground powerlines in NYC or most of NJ for that matter. In every place they remove a telephone pole, they can replace it with either a new tree or street light. The cost of the trees Hoboken could easily get covered with a grant.
Yes you will still have to trim them when they become dangerous to people or may damage property.

Friday, May 4, 2007 5:59 pm

FACT. The trees in Church Square Park were cut down because the dumb mexicans that were constructing the playground (sorry all you smart mexicans who read these posts, Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!) accidentally struck a root and didn’t know which root they hit, so in an effort not to kill children when the trees fell because they were dead (and all of the yuppie mom’s and nannies were too preoccupied with cell phones and bullshitting with each other to get them out of the way… you know who you are), they chopped them all down.

Yes, it was stupid to put a playground where there was grass, since everyone wants grass, but you all know that in two years, when a tree killed 10 children, you would all be sitting here complaining about how the Mayor and his chronies never did anything about the dead trees. Besides, they did plant new ones. Or at least, I believe they did (or are in the process of doing so). So now maybe those trees will have the opportunity to be chopped down when they turn 185!!!

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