national 9/11 memorial

constitution gardens

ellis island

branch brook park

hoboken pier A park

butternut plaza

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kinnelon, new jersey

Butternut TPZ.jpg Butternut Root Protect.jpg Butternut Post Construction.jpg Recent.JPG

Owner & Developer: Lester M. Entin Associates   |   Landscape Architect: Lawrence J. Tencza Associates

Engineer: Schoor DePalma    |   Tree Maintenance: Sequoia Tree Service

The Borough of Kinnelon, NJ and its residents expressed great concern over a developer's plans to build an office building on the site of its treasured butternut tree.  This tree was once designated as the oldest and largest of its kind in the State, is frequently mentioned in accounts of the area's history, and is depicted in the Borough's official seal.  

School children, who study the history surrounding the tree and collect its nuts each year, attended a Planning Board meeting in large numbers to voice their concerns and the Borough and the developer listened.

PC+A was retained to evaluate the tree and assist site planners, engineers and architects in modifying the project design to preserve and protect the tree.  The building was reduced in size and reoriented to highlight and maintain access to the tree, variances were obtained to reduce the required number of parking spaces, retaining walls were designed to maintain existing grades, and the building was named Butternut Plaza in honor of the historic tree.

PC+A developed and enforced extensive protection measures to minimize the impact of construction activities on the tree including establishment of "no-entry" protection zones, irrigation and mulching based on continuous subsurface moisture and temperature monitoring, root pruning, and introduction of root promoting bio-stimulants, mycorrhizal fungi inoculants and water retaining copolymers to the soil.  

In addition, PC+A developed specifications for and supervised pruning, cabling, fertilization, integrated insect and disease controls, and soil conditioning to improve the tree’s overall health and structural condition.  

In October 2000, the NJ Shade Tree Federation presented its special Award of Merit to the developer and the Borough for “the involvement of concerned residents and school children, the commitment of the Borough Council and Planning Officials to high ideals, and the response of a conscientious developer.”

In the years that followed, the butternut tree improved in health and has shown no ill effects from the construction around it.

© 2014 Paul Cowie and Associates, Inc.