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March  30

Residents Score A Home Run For Woodman Trees


It’s official…a vote by the Board of School Estimate Tuesday night squashed the million dollar basball park renovation at Montclair’s Woodman Field.  More than 30 trees, some dating to the 1850’s, were saved in the process. The decision follows a recommendation from Mayor Ed Remsen Monday night to postpone ballfield improvements. “A triumph of reason over extraordinary pressure,”  said Carl Kraus,  one of many Champlain Terrace residents opposing the project. From The Star Ledger:

People opposed to the size and cost of the ballfield packed public hearings on the budget, citing such works of literature as the Dr. Seuss book "The Lorax," a children's tale in which the greedy Once-ler destroys a beautiful environment. The pleas did not fall on deaf ears."It's pretty remarkable that they were turned around," Kraus said. "And I think it was led by the mayor, who had really searched himself." The mayor is a baseball coach and an avid Yankees fan.

The makeover would have included a 40-foot fence, said to be taller than the left-field wall at Boston's Fenway Park.

The ballfield still might undergo a renovation of some kind. "Whatever is done will be done in consultation with the residents,"  Remsen said.

March 30, 2006 in Civic Virtue | Permalink


I'm happy for walleroo and his trees.

Posted by: Iceman | Mar 30, 2006 12:43:22 PM

Where are the budget hawks now?

Posted by: lasermike026 | Mar 30, 2006 1:26:23 PM


Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 30, 2006 1:30:01 PM

Gotta say, I'm glad the the folks in favor of the trees got it done. That's a lovely part of town, and I think the ballfield plans were excessive.

Forgive me for lapsing into 'when I was in school' stories, but, when I played lacrosse at Montclair (and it was the same up until today when, hopefully, the field improvements will change things), we played on a muddy, then rocky and dry Anderson park field, where one corner always sloped uphill. No fancy digs for us, and we still won championships.

The high school and college athletic arms races are out of hand and I hope we can keep things sane in Montclair.

Posted by: MHS grad | Mar 30, 2006 1:55:31 PM

Lax guys always say they're tougher than baseball players... this proves it (that and all the welts from having a solid rubber ball winged at you each day).

Posted by: notteham | Mar 30, 2006 2:24:39 PM

Good Job, Mayor Ed.

Posted by: applause | Mar 30, 2006 2:36:54 PM

whew! mass "murder" prevented.

Posted by: appletony | Mar 30, 2006 3:52:46 PM

I think I read something about the two oldest trees being valued at at least One Million Bucks..
Let's sell the land to Plofker. With 30 trees, he can build 90 McTreeHouses.

Posted by: butchcjg | Mar 30, 2006 3:56:09 PM

"valued at at least One Million Bucks.."

By the tree's mommies?

Value? Meaning someone would, what, pay a million buy the tree and move it?


Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 30, 2006 4:14:29 PM

Count up the sales from all the baseball bats you can carve out of that one tree -- and a million bucks, yeah.

McTreeHouses, heh! Yes, and ... Entstead at Montclair.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 30, 2006 4:35:53 PM

Leadership - isn't it wondreful. Congratulations, mayor.


Posted by: HappyGuy | Mar 30, 2006 4:37:47 PM

Great news, I'm so glad the trees will be saved. It's not that I'm against recreational pursuits but there must be a better way than taking down all those lovely trees.

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Mar 30, 2006 4:39:54 PM

Putting out a fire that the same person helped to start hardly makes that person a hero. It does make that person smart enough to know when they are wrong. Even if it is motivated by outside forces.

Those trees are beautiful and that track is awfully close to first base.

Posted by: OX | Mar 30, 2006 5:06:08 PM

Love the McTreeHouses, butch.

Posted by: walleroo | Mar 30, 2006 5:15:03 PM


You've added a decimal place!

Tree #1 © = 11’8”; DBH= 44.56”; area = 1558.7”2
Tree is 155 years old.
Appraised value = $45,000
Condition = No rot, minor insect damage present, full and healthy canopy. Root
flair, excellent. Condition: 95%
Location: Specimen tree for a City park. 90%
Species: 100%

Tree #2 © = 12’4”; = DBH: 47.1”; area = 1741.8”2
Tree is 19 - 235 years old.
Appraised value = $59,000
Condition = Minor rot, minor insect damage present, full and healthy canopy.
Root flair, excellent. Condition: 85%
Location: Specimen tree for a City park. 90%
Species: 100%

Posted by: badd_patti | Mar 30, 2006 5:18:06 PM

well, I'm typo patti today

Tree is 19 - 235 years old. S/B
Tree is 190 - 235 years old.

Posted by: badd_patti | Mar 30, 2006 5:19:13 PM

why use a dash when a comma makes the statement even more impressive? e.g.:

"Tree is 190,235 years old"

Posted by: appletony | Mar 30, 2006 5:24:08 PM

Oh - So, they're only "worth" $100,000??

Heck, Plofker will make a LOT of money then!!! He can alot 10% of them for affordable tree housing and sell 'em at $25k and still make a lot of dough!

Posted by: Butch | Mar 30, 2006 5:28:49 PM

Well, if anyone cares to go over to the Watercooler (and please, let's not turn this into 90 posts on what's wrong with the Watercooler 'cause I'm only trying to help) they can read the consultants report themselves. Pat is not making this up, only repeating the data in the report, and it's posted in the files on the Watercooler.

The consultant that the neighbors hired and PAID to evaluate ALL the trees came up with the number close to $1MM for the trees.

In the report she uses accepted estimating practices to come up with her numbers.

Remember, even though a 60' tree might only cost $60,000 to buy, it will cost AT LEAST another $60,000 to truck it in and plant it. Assuming you can find one.

Out in the Hamptons there is a nursery called Marders that sells these trees. They have buyers that go out around the country buying mammoth trees. The large trees I saw were nowhere near the size of the ones at Woodman, and they were priced $45,000 to $60,000 and up. With a similar sum for moving and planting.

So, if anyone has problems with the numbers, they're free to get their own "expert" witness, but the expert used here testifies in court, for insurance companies, towns, etc.

Posted by: carya | Mar 30, 2006 6:03:03 PM

Is anybody else bothered by the description of the mayor as "an avid Yankee fan"?

Me, I prefer my Yankee fans tepid.

Posted by: crank | Mar 30, 2006 6:10:29 PM

Butch said *two* trees not all of them.

But if all of them are worth a million, then I think we should reconsider removing them. Let's sell them! We can practically get the baseball field for free!

The somewhere else in town we can plan some new trees to pay for future baseball fields.

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Mar 30, 2006 7:12:04 PM

I understand that only one baseball player and his father showed up to advocate for the plan for the new ballfield.

One can only assume that the majority of the people involved in Montclair baseball did not support the BoE's plan.

Posted by: Bitpusher | Mar 30, 2006 7:17:22 PM


I only gave the price of two trees- since that's the number that Butch spoke about and overestimated by a magnitude of 10.

I'm not sure why Butch didn't add correctly- they were always worth $95,000 - but then her math ability is not my problem or concern.

The two oldest trees are valued at $95,000 by the Certified Arborist that the neighbors hired.

So, I take it that you're willing to wait another 235 years for the replacement trees to grow...some of us aren't willing to do that.

Butch -I don't think Mr. Pfloker is in the market for trees - and I don't know of any "affordable tree housing" but then I don't speak for him- only myself. I do take affordable housing in Montclair seriously and thought that you did too.

Appletony- yes you are correct displaying the years that way would be more impressive - but since I was quoting the Certified Tree Arborist's report, I didn't change her display method - I think the 0 in 190 disappeared when I tried to tighten up the word wrap...

Posted by: badd_patti | Mar 30, 2006 7:51:05 PM

"Butch -I don't think Mr. Pfloker is in the market for trees - and I don't know of any "affordable tree housing" but then I don't speak for him- only myself. I do take affordable housing in Montclair seriously and thought that you did too."

Clearly someone is lacking in the sense of humor department!

Posted by: Butch | Mar 30, 2006 10:47:04 PM

"I'm not sure why Butch didn't add correctly- they were always worth $95,000 - but then her math ability is not my problem or concern."

Ever heard of estimation?

By the way, $45,000 + $59,000 does NOT equal $95,000.

Posted by: Butch | Mar 30, 2006 10:50:11 PM

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