FAQs

+ Q. Can I cut as many trees as I want on my private property?

The property owner is responsible for complying with the Village Code with respect to the management of trees. The Village Tree Laws and/or the Village Building Inspector (John Ledwith, 845-351-4745, x3, jledwith@tuxedopark-ny.gov must be consulted before removing any trees from your property.

It is your responsibility to inform landscapers and any other workers on your property of the Village Code provisions.

See section on Village tree code on this website for details.

+ Q: I want to plant some trees. Should I choose native or specimen varieties?

According to Cornell University “Gardening Resources”, native plants are favored for the following reasons: lower maintenance, regional uniqueness, biological diversity and suitability as wildlife habitat.

Additionally, it is important to consider whether the plant is appropriate for the site: is the space, microclimate, soil type, soil hydrology and insect populations appropriate for the plant?

For information on trees that grow well in our area, see section on Tree management.

+ Q: I have trees blocking my lake view. Can I cut them down?

There are many ways to open a view without eliminating trees.

Russell Wright, the pre-eminent mid-twentieth century industrial designer and founder of Manitoga, the 75-acre woodland garden in Garrison, New York in which his house and studio sit, wrote in his book, A Woodland of Garden Paths, (1970): “Do not make the usual crude mistake of a panoramic vista by cutting down everything in front of the viewer. (The vista) should be framed with large
trees, and have many trees between the viewer and the vista to create more depth and a subtle, natural effect. “

Topping trees to open a view is not good for the long-term health of the tree. Canopy raising and removing 10%—15% of the canopy of a mature tree might be enough to open the view without sacrificing the tree and its benefits.

The property owner is responsible for complying with the Village Code with respect to the management of trees. The Village Laws and/or the Village Building Inspector (John Ledwith, 845-351-4745, x3, jledwith@tuxedopark-ny.gov) must be consulted before removing any trees from your property. See section on Village tree code on this website for details.

It is your responsibility to inform landscapers and any other workers on your property of the Village Code provisions.

For information on trees and views, visit washingtondnr.wordpress.com.

+ Q: Should all dead trees, standing or fallen, be removed?

“The only time dead trees do not help the forest is when they are removed from the forest by people.” The Living Nature of Old and Dead Trees, Suzanne Petersen, Lamprey River Advisory Committee, Lampreyriver.org.

Dead and fallen trees continue to contribute to the ecology of the landscape by promoting a more diverse and healthy habitat.

Standing dead trees provide nesting and roosting sites for woodpeckers, raptors and mammals. Many insects eat dead wood and, in turn, are eaten by birds and animals. Fallen dead trees create cool, moist shelters for amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The decomposition of dead trees enriches the soil. Trees that have fallen into streams and other bodies of water provide shelter and food for fish, turtles, insects and bacteria. The flow of water is slowed down, erosion lessened.

Dead trees that are potentially hazardous to roads, houses, people and electric lines, however, must be addressed. It is also reasonable to remove dead trees that diminish the aesthetics of your house, garden or views. But consider leaving some dead trees that are well hidden inside forests. In some cases, consideration should be given to whether the tree crown could be removed, leaving a trunk for shelter and food.

Whenever you have/remove a dead tree, plant a young and health replacement to replenish our forest!

For more information on dead and old trees visit Lampreyriver.org and wf.org.

+ Q. Are lawns good for the environment?

Increasingly, research shows that classic grass lawns are not good for the environment.

Maintaining a lawn wastes water, adds toxic pesticides and herbicides to the environment and generates greenhouse gasses. Also, according to the National Wildlife Federation, lawns have only 10% the rate of absorption of storm water runoff when compared to woodlands. Thus, lawns contribute to erosion, flooding and runoff of sediments and pollutants into lakes and streams, diminishing the quality of the watershed.

For more information on lawns and the environment, visit ag.udel.edu, and Smithsonian.com

+ Q. I have plenty of trees on my property. Why should I plant more?

Most trees in Tuxedo Park are of the “old mature” category. Until recently,saplings planted by nature have not survived an overpopulation of deer. Unless we deliberately replant and nurture young and healthy trees to replenish our aging forest, our landscape will be quite barren in another 30—50 years, adversely affecting the quality of life of our children and grandchildren and the value of the properties they inherit.

+ Q. Do I need to fertilize my trees?

Most trees would benefit from mulching and fertilizing. However, do a soil test to determine soil deficiency before applying fertilizers. The best time to mulch and fertilize is April and October.

Also, keep in mind the Village’s prohibition on the use of fertilizers with phosphates in order to protect the quality of our drinking reservoir and watershed. There is a direct, well-documented connection between phosphate and blue-green algae that plagues the Tuxedo Lake and Wee Wah Ponds.

For more information on mulching and fertilizing, visit treesaregood.com.

+ Q. What are invasive species and why are they bad?

According to Executive Order 13112 which established the National Invasive Species Council (NISC), an invasive species is defined as “alien (or non-native) species whose introduction does, or is likely to, cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.”

Increasingly, invasive plants are changing the landscape of Tuxedo Park. They don’t promote biodiversity. Miscanthus spreads in the Racetrack, garlic mustard carpets the woods, while phragmites eliminate all other plant life in wetlands. Birds don’t usually nest in Norway maples. Japanese barberries create attractive habitat for ticks while Eurasian mille foil chokes all other plant life in bodies of water.

The TPTAB’s focus on the Racetrack is to address the crippling effects of invasive plants on native trees and shrubs, biodiversity and green infrastructure.

The Village of Tuxedo Park is a member of Partnership for the Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), an organization that provides assistance in combatting invasive species.

For more information on invasive species, visit dec.ny.gov, and nature.org.

+ Q. How do I get rid of invasive species?

The website Weeds Gone Wild recommends:

  • Avoid disturbance to natural areas, including clearing of native vegetation,planting of non-native plants and dumping of yard wastes.
  • Do not purchase or use invasive exotic species in your landscaping, or for land restoration or erosion control projects.
  • For landscaping, use native plants as much as possible or those plants that are not known to be invasive.
  • Know your plants. If you are unsure of the identification of a plant, take a sample to a university, arboretum, Department of Agriculture office, local nature center, or native plant society to ask for assistance. Find out if it is known or thought to have invasive tendencies. If the exotic plant is closely related to an invasive specie, it is likely to have similar characteristics. To be on the safe side, if you don't know it, don't grow it.
  • Control exotic invasive plants either by removing them entirely or by managing their spread outside your property. This may include pruning to prevent flowering and seed dispersal, cutting, mowing or herbicide use.

For more information, visit nps.gov.

+ Q. My hemlock trees have been infested with woolly adelgid. What should I do?

Early management and monitoring are essential. Prevention and control can include thinning, possible parasite and predator controls, jet spraying of water and chemical control. If you think your hemlock trees have woolly adelgid, you should immediately report your concerns to the NYS DEC (866) 640-0652 and contact a trained and certified arborist.

For more information, visit treesaregood.com and dec.ny.gov

+ Q. My ash trees have been infested with emerald ash borer. What should I do?

Early management and monitoring are essential. Prevention and control of emerald ash borer infestation is extremely difficult and often involves thinning. If you think you have emerald ash borer contact the NYS DEC hotline (866) 640-0652. For more information, visit emeraldashborer.info and treesaregood.com.