Shade Tree Commission

Members

Members of the Commission serve a staggered five-year term.

  • Tim Murphy
  • Vacancy
  • Karl Valley
  • John Whaley
  • Rick Wain, Chairman

Staff Liaison

  • Nick Gehret

Overview

The Shade Tree Commission is charged with the custody and control of all trees located in the public rights-of-way of the township. This five-member body prepares ordinances and regulations, develops educational information, and implements programs in support of the township's street trees. The Commission regulates the planting, maintenance, and removal of street trees.

Tree Pruning Basics

Pruning is the most important task to maintain, enhance and protect the appearance and health of shade trees and other ornamental trees. The Township Shade Tree Commission offers the following guidance on how to properly prune trees in your yard... 

The Arbor Day Foundation produced a series of three videos on YouTube that we recommend.
The first video, Ask an Arborist: Why Do I Need to Prune? - YouTube (1:45) describes the reasons to prune trees.
The second video, Ask An Arborist: What are the Rules of Pruning? - YouTube (3:20) outlines 5 factors of form and function to guide you in pruning correctly.
The third video, Ask an Arborist: The ABC's of Pruning – YouTube (4:55), demonstrates how to make 3 kinds of pruning cuts.

**Before viewing the videos, please consider the following points of clarification:
- The videos focus on winter pruning, which is generally the ideal time to prune, but some pruning should be done at other times. For example, broken or dead branches should be removed as soon as possible. Flowering trees should be pruned soon after they bloom.

- The videos advise that branches be removed just outside the branch collar, and example of which is shown in the diagram below. The branch collar is a swollen bulge at the base of the branch, often with coarser bark than the branch. The collar is the tissue that will heal the wound when the branch is removed. If a longer branch stub is left, it will invite decay and detract from the appearance of the tree. Wound sealant or paint should not be used.
pruning image 1

- In the videos, all the demonstrated cuts are made with a pruning saw, which is a correct tool to use on branches over 1” in diameter. Smaller branches can be removed with pruning shears or loppers. Loppers will also work on branches over 1”, but will not make as clean a cut as a saw on very hard or dead wood.

- Always keep safety in mind. Wear gloves and never cut where you cannot see. Goggles are recommended, especially when using a saw and cutting overhead, to keep sawdust out of your eyes. We do not recommend working from a ladder or near power lines. To deal with those situations, or removing large limbs, it is best to hire a qualified arborist who is certified and insured.