Recently the Fair Haven Borough Council proposed a tree preservation act. The reason given for this important invasion of the resident’s freedom was “We are forced to balance the rights of the trees with the rights of the property owners”. I assume the trees are forcing the council to protect them.

Our freedom stealing council has proposed a five page lawyer type document that has some really funny definitions:

Diameter at Breast Height (DBH) - means the diameter of a tree measured at breast height – it is unclear which breast or how calculation is to be made by double breasted persons.

Significant Specimen Trees – means any tree with a diameter at breast height exceeding (60%) of that of the largest tree listed in either “Monmouth County’s Largest Trees” or “New Jersey Big Trees”. You should always carry copies of these books on your person in case you ever want to apply for permission to cut your own tree down

Written Permit Application: There are only 18 questions to be answered plus diagrams, name of tree Removal Company, evaluation and recommendation by a tree expert. If additional stuff is added later, you will be advised at the time of application. Starting fee is $25.00 per tree.

Next comes the code enforcement officer to inspect the offensive tree or trees and the remote possible granting of permission for you to cut down your own tree. The code enforcement officer has 13 additional guide lines to be complied with. One of the guidelines: (e) “Whether any tree in question is a tree worthy of preservation”. You better hope you don’t have any un-worthy trees.

If George Washington lived in Fair Haven he would still be in jail for chopping down that Breast High Cherry Tree.

Barry Caulfield
Fair Haven, NJ