In a unique opportunity of the past re-emerging in current events, the Shade Tree Commission was brought up by a resident at tonight’s borough council meeting as a potential example of an unwanted freedom-stifling bureaucratic brickwall that the borough could do without.
To better shed light on the origins of our Shade Tree Commission and the general preservation of our pines, below you will find a few passages again from Wm. M. Butler’s Beachwood Directory and Who’s Who 1924. It is our hope that these statements from our very founders and indeed the original architect of the borough, Addison D. Nickerson, will show this commission and its purpose to be as ingrained and firm an institution in the borough as the original founding spirit of Beachwood itself.
Look especially to the end for an original offer by the commission that would make an excellent project for today’s Beachwood.
Protection and Increase of the Pines
The Beachwood Property Owners’ Association, at its annual meeting on August 9, 1919, voted unanimously in favor of the protection and increase of the pines, which are the chief asset of this beautiful family resort, the resolutions adopted being as follows:
Whereas, the pines are the chief adornment and glory of our landscape, bringing sweet perfume to the delightful, balmy air and helping to make the climate of Beachwood ideal; and
Whereas, without the pines Beachwood would sink to the level of commonplace and lose its greatest charm as a health-giving family resort, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Beachwood Property Owners’ Association urges its members to do everything possible for the preservation, protection and increase of the pines.
Resolved, that we recommend to the Mayor and Commissioners of our Borough the enactment of rules and regulations forbidding unnecessary destruction of pine trees on borough property.
Resolved, that a committee of three be appointed by the president of this association to look after the welfare of the pines, to study their diseases and remedies, and to investigate how such trees may be increased, planted and transplanted, in order that our borough may in years to come be more than ever embowered among them and achieve enduring fame as Beachwood among the Pines.
The Committee, consisting of William Mill Butler, Rev. Martin L. Stimson and Addison D. Nickerson, immediately began to investigate the subject, obtaining expert advice for this purpose and called a public meeting which was largely attended at the clubhouse, August 23. An address was delivered by James E. Stillaway, a well known horticulturist and landscape engineer. This was followed by a general experience meeting and interchange of views. Many instances were related by physicians and others showing the wonderful influence of the pines in cases of illness: Insomnia, bronchitis, catarrh, infantile paralysis, hay fever, fever as an after effect of influenza and other ailments were shown to have been relieved or entirely cured. From the valuable and practical address of Mr. Stillaway we take the following points which, followed by all lovers of the pines, will combat their diseases and the insects which are the cause. This information will also aid us in increasing the pines by transplanting.
Some say the Jersey pines are not the most beautiful, but proper care will improve any tree. Besides this, we can introduce and plant other varieties of pines. In fact, the committee on the protection and increase of pines has in view an arboretum in which various kinds of pines suited to Beachwood will be planted as an object lesson.
Do not allow sellers of nursery stock or others with designs upon your pocketbook to persuade you that the pines draw the heat and are of no value. Why are places among the pines celebrated as health resorts? Is a health producing tree not of the greatest possible value? Is health not the greatest blessing?
(From the address of James E. Stillaway)
Ladies and Gentlemen: –
I have been asked by the committee for the preservation and increase by transplanting of the pine trees in this resort, to address this meeting of the Property Owners, to urge their co-operation in this praiseworthy object, to retain and, if possible, to increase the attractiveness of Beachwood in the Pines.
The pines form one of the chief features of the landscape in this section of country, and are able to thrive upon soils where very few other trees could exist. But like nearly all other members of the vegetable kingdom, it has its enemies, chief of which is the borer or larva or a small black beetle, which deposits its eggs upon the lower part of the trunk of the tree near the ground and up to a height of 5 or 6 feet in the loose bark. When first hatched it seeks the soft inner bark. As its jaws gain in strength it finally enters the trunk of the tree, and the effect is soon apparent as the tree is soon killed. Their presence can easily be detected by a quantity of turpentine mixed with borings issued from the tree trunk. Clearing the opening and inserting a piece of copper wire will generally prove effective and end his career, as copper wire, being pliable, will follow the ramification of his gallery or runway.
A good plan against infection is to scrape all the loose bark from the lower part of the tree trunk. Borers are generally more prevalent where a quantity of pine brush and logs have been left to decay, which forms an ideal breeding place; therefore all pine brush and logs should be destroyed, which will go a long way towards eradicating the pest; all dead limbs should be removed and burned.
Another enemy of pines is the fungus, especially the white, thread-like spores of the purpled stemmed boletus, which often penetrates and disrupts the bark of the roots, forming a white network upon the roots. Many years ago I had an experience with this disease when as many as 6 to 8 trees would be attacked in a limited area. I resorted to opening trenches to stop the spawn from running and treating the infected sections with powdered sulphur.
The pinus strobus or white pine is subject to attack of the pith borer which attacks the young growth. When hatched this insect follows the pith in the young growth. The eggs are deposited in August, but the damage is not apparent till the following spring when the preceding year’s growth dies. In this case it is the young trees which are attacked.
But to return to the case immediately before us; it is only by external vigilance that the ravages of the borer pest can be eradicated and if every one will co-operate, they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped to retain the chief feature of this resort.
This is not all. How few realize the health-giving properties given off by pines, especially when in blossom, when the pollen is prevalent in the air and is inhaled with great benefit, especially by those suffering with pulmonary diseases. I know of two cases of bronchitis which were greatly benefited by residence here.
Few people stop to consider when chopping down a tree how long it will take to replace it. The rapid rate at which our forests are being depleted is causing the high cost of lumber today, and it may be of interest to many to know that the average increase of one acre of mixed timber trees is 14 ft. of sawed lumber per year.
But to return to our subject, I would state that April and part of May and August and September are the best times of the year to plant pines and other cone-bearing trees successfully. In the first period named growth is just commencing and at the second it is just completed. If moved at other times of the year there will be many cases for the undertaker. I am speaking from 45 years’ experience in this line of business. To many people a pine tree is just a pine tree and nothing more. There are 30 varieties in this country today, some of which are pinus strobus, or the white pine; pinus cirops, the Jersey pine.
In concluding, I would urge the property owners of this borough to co-operate with the committee to preserve the existing pine trees and by planting to fill in all vacant spaces, and so retain the natural beauty of this resort. By so doing they will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped not only to preserve the physical aspect of this place, byt will be conferring a lasting benefit to posterity.
If anyone should wish to consult me upon any point in connection with this subject, I shall be most happy to confer with them and to render any advice they may need.
JAMES E. STILLAWAY
Arboriculturist and Landscape Engineer.
(Unanimously adopted at a mass meeting of the residents of Beachwood, August 23rd, 1919.)
I believe in a still more beautiful Beachwood among the pines. I believe that one of the best means to enhance her fame as a healthful family resort is to preserve, protect and increase the trees which are her chief glory and adornment, which lend sweet perfume to her atmosphere and help to make her climate truly beneficial.
I pledge myself to do all I can to advance the interests of Beachwood, to prevent the unnecessary destruction of the pines and to foster their growth and welfare.
Beachwood Shade Tree Commission
(Extract from Ordinance finally adopted September 29, 1923)
An Ordinance creating and establishing a shade tree commission in and for the Borough of Beachwood, in the County of Ocean, and prescribing the powers and duties of said commission.
The Board of Commissioners of the Borough of Beachwood, in the county of Ocean, do ordain:
Section 1. That a commission be hereby created and established consisting of three residents of the said Borough of Beachwood, and to be known as the “Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of Beachwood, in the County of Ocean,” pursuant to the provisions of an act of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey, entitled “An Act providing for the regulating, planting, care and control of shade trees and shrubbery upon the public highway and in municipal parks, and for the care, control and improvement of such parks; authorizing the continuance of existing shade tree commissions and the appointment of commissions, and prescribing their powers and duties (Revision of 1015)” – approved April 14, 1915, and the acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto.
Section 2. That the said commission shall have and exercise full, sole and exclusive control over the regulation, planting and care of shade and ornamental trees and shrubbery now situate, or which may hereafter be planted in any public highway, park or parkway of said Borough, except county parks or parkways, including the planting, trimming, spraying, care and protection of the same for the public good; to regulate and control the use of the ground surrounding for their proper growth, care and protection; to move, or require the removal of any tree, or part thereof dangerous to public safety, at the expense of the owner of such tree; and to remove any tree or part of a tree at the request and expense of the owner of such tree; to care for and control such parks and parkways; to encourage arboriculture; to make, alter, amend and repeal in the manner prescribed for the passage, alteration, amendment and repeal of ordinances by the Board of Commissioners of the said Borough any and all ordinances necessary or proper for carrying out the provisions of the said Act; and to contract with the owner of any real estate in said Borough to supply the owner material and labor for the purpose of planting, cultivating or removing trees, grass, flowers, or shrubbery, and to charge the actual cost thereof to such owner; or if, after such material or labor is supplied, payment thereafter is not made on demand to certify the actual cost thereof to the Collector of Taxes, whereupon the sum so certified shall be collected by said Collector as other taxes on real property are collected in said Borough and all such other and further powers as are now vested or which may hereafter be vested in such a Commission under and by virtue of the Laws of this State.
Section 3. That this ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its passage and publication according to law.
NOTICE TO LOVERS OF THE PINES
The Shade Tree Commission, cooperating with the Committee on the Preservation of the Pines, will prepare a large number of pine trees of fairly good size this fall, for transplanting in the spring. Your orders for the placing of such trees on your premises will be received up to October 1st, and the work will be completed for you next spring at actual cost. Draw a plan of your lots and indicate where you would like the trees placed. Authorize us to remove old and diseased trees. Also to remove scrub oaks and make the pines as nearly 100 per cent as possible.
WILLIAM MILL BUTLER, Chairman.
ADDISON D. NICKERSON,
WALTER SCOTT NOBIS,
Shade Tree Commission