West End's canopy disappearing - South Bergenite
(by Daniel O'Keefe - June 03, 2009)
Rutherford's Shade Tree Committee is looking to get grant money to fund a project to help replace trees in town, particularly in the West End where the initial phase of the committee's GPS-mapping project has revealed a depletion in the number and health of the trees in the area.
"There's been a decline in the number of trees," said Rutherford's tree expert Mike Schmeding. In addition, he noted, "there are a few Norway Maples and they're in pretty bad shape." He noted Hastings Avenue and Washington Avenue between Vanderburgh and Grand avenues and near Tryon Field as some of the areas that have seen declines.
"Most of the Norway [Maples] are taking a beating," he said. Many were planted at the same time, so they're all reaching maturity at once. Also, many were planted in places that now have power lines directly above them. Over the years, they've had to be trimmed extensively.
"We're paying for it now because they're interfering with the wires and the centers have to be cut out," said Schmeding. Such extensive pruning can have bad long term effects on the health of the trees.