Township of Springfield, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Springfield 12-14-1994 as § 20-21 of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Property maintenance — See Ch. 150.
Zoning — See Ch. 215.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Springfield Township Landscape Ordinance.”
The purpose of this chapter is to provide proper guidelines and specifications for preserving the natural character of the land and vegetation; to provide regulations for planting trees and shrubs and landscaping in buffer areas, along streets and throughout each development, as required by Township ordinances; to prevent soil erosion; to enhance the aesthetic nature of each project; to reduce air and sound pollution; to provide visual barriers; to provide wind control; and to reduce glare and reflection.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BALD AND BURLAP (B&B)
The earth surrounding the roots of plant material which are being transplanted and wrapped in burlap. No synthetic burlap shall be permitted.
BARE ROOTED (BR)
Harvested plant material from which the ground medium has been removed.
BERM
An elongated aesthetic mound of soil on a site, used as a view obstruction or to vary the grade pattern, either natural or man made.
BUFFER
An area within a property or site, generally adjacent to and parallel with the property line, consisting of either natural existing vegetation or created by the use of trees, shrubs, fences and/or berms designed to continuously limit view of the site from adjacent sites or properties.
CALIPER
The diameter of a tree trunk measured in inches, six inches above the ground for trees up to four inches in diameter or 12 inches above the ground for trees four inches in diameter or larger.
CONTAINER
A can, flat, pot, tub, etc., used to grow or hold plant material.
CONTAINER-GROWN STOCK
Plant materials grown above ground within some type of container.
DECIDUOUS PLANTS
Trees and/or shrubs that shed all their leaves at the end of the growing season and remain leafless during the winter or dormant period.
EVERGREEN PLANTS
A plant that does not lose its leaves during the winter.
FIELD GROWN
Plant material grown in a field not operated and owned by a nursery.
GROUNDCOVER
Low-growing plants or sod that in time forms a dense mat covering the area in which it is planted, preventing the growth of unwanted plants while holding the soil in place.
MULCH
Any covering placed on soil to conserve moisture, retard weed growth and protect plants from extremes of heat and cold.
NURSERY GROWN
Plant material grown in and/or obtained from a nursery which is grown in a field or in containers.
ORNAMENTAL TREES
Trees that are grown for the beauty of their form, foliage, flowers or fruit rather than for food, fiber or other uses.
SCREEN
A structure or plantings providing a continuous view obstruction of the site, consisting of fencing, berms and/or evergreen trees or shrubs.
SHADE TREE
A deciduous woody perennial plant, usually having a single main axis or stem (trunk) exceeding 30 feet in height at maturity and having foliage to provide partial obstruction of direct sunlight.
SHRUBS
A woody perennial plant, usually smaller than a tree and generally with multiple stems arising from the roots.
TOPSOIL
Soil which is friable and loamy, free of debris, contains no toxic substance, has a pH range of 5.0 to 7.5 and contains not less than 5% organic matter.
TREE EASEMENT
An area of the street in which trees shall be planted and maintained for street shade or decoration, or both.
Shade trees shall be limited to deciduous trees as more fully set forth in §§ 119-6 and 119-7. Only shade trees shall be installed along streets. Center islands of culs-de-sac may be either evergreens or deciduous species and a combination of trees and shrubs.
A. 
Shade trees shall be planted in all major subdivisions and shall be located within a tree easement adjacent to the street line. A plan showing location of all proposed shade trees, installation details and specifications shall be submitted to the approving authority before preliminary approval.
B. 
There shall be established, where possible and practical, a tree easement along either side of each new street, as such streets are hereafter laid out and established, and along the side of an existing street that abuts the subdivision. The tree easements shall be five feet in width and abutting the right-of-way line.
C. 
In each subdivision of land, the developer shall plant in the tree easements along the side of the streets proper shade trees at a maximum distance of 40 feet between trees. The trees shall not be located within site triangle easements.
D. 
All shade trees planted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall be placed in a proper manner and in a good grade of planting soil mix within the area where the tree is planted.
E. 
All shade trees hereafter to be planted in accordance with this chapter shall be nursery grown, of substantially uniform size and shape, shall have straight trunks and shall comply with the American Standard for Nursery Stock ANSI 260.1-1986 or latest edition.
F. 
All shade trees planted pursuant to this chapter shall be planted in a dormant state. The minimum height of all shade trees at time of planting shall be 14 feet and have a minimum caliper of three inches, as measured six inches above the finished grade. The main leader of all trees shall not be pruned, split or broken.
G. 
Replacement of all new trees which fail to survive shall be made at the next planting season and shall be of the same variety and species and conform to the size and shape of the existing trees in that area. Any deviation must be done only with the approval of the Township Planning Board.
In conjunction with commercial, industrial or professional office uses, all areas of a lot not occupied by buildings, pavement or other surfacing and other required improvements, except as otherwise specifically provided, shall be landscaped by the planting of grass and/or groundcover, shrubs and trees. The minimum quantity of plant material used shall be one tree and two shrubs per every 250 square feet or fraction thereof. When this requirement applies, such trees and shrubs shall be of a type approved by the Board. The placement of the plant material shall be appropriate for the enhancement of the property, in accordance with a landscape plan approved by the Board.
The applicant shall select deciduous, evergreen and groundcover species which are typically found in this area. The shade tree species shall be one of the following kinds of trees, or of a deciduous variety approved by the Board:
A. 
Pin Oak (Quercus Palustris).
B. 
Red Oak (Quercus Borealis).
C. 
Honey Locust (Gleditsia Triancanthos Inermis), seedless varieties.
D. 
Little Leaf Linden (Tilia Cordata).
E. 
Bradford Callery Pear (Pyres Calleryana Bradford).
F. 
Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum).
G. 
Green Ash (Fraxinus Pennsylvanica Lanceolata), seedless variety.
The following trees shall be prohibited along the streets:
A. 
Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba, Female).
B. 
Caster Aralia (Kalopanax Pictus).
C. 
Sweet Gum (Liguidambar Styraciflua).
D. 
Walnut (Juglans, all species).
E. 
Osage Orange (Machura Pomifera).
F. 
Crab Apple (Malus, all species).
G. 
Weeping Willow (Salix, all species).
H. 
All trees with thorns, such as Aralia species (Japanese Angelica), the Crataegus species (Hawthorn) and Gleditsia Triacanthos (common Honey Locust).
The following trees shall be prohibited in all buffer areas:
A. 
Abies Pinsapo.
B. 
Araucaria Araucaria and Araucaria Heterophylla.
C. 
Cedrus Atlantica and Cedrus Libani.
D. 
Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis.
E. 
Cryptomeria Japonica Lobbii.
F. 
Cunninghamia Lanceolata.
G. 
Ginkgo Biloba.
H. 
Larix Decidua.
I. 
Latrix Kaempferi and Laris Leptolpis.
J. 
Pinus Wallichiana, Pinus Parviflora, Pinus Peuce and Pinus Ponderosa.
K. 
Taxodium Distichum.
L. 
Torreya Nucifera.
All plans submitted to the Township for approval, except minor subdivisions, shall contain a landscape plan. The landscape plan shall be prepared by a landscape architect, architect, planner or engineer certified in the State of New Jersey, whose name, signature, certification number and seal shall appear on the plan. Wherever possible, the landscape architect, architect, planner or engineer shall promote creativity in design locations and selection of species.
All plans shall contain a plant material list and show the following information:
A. 
Symbols or numbers identifying the proposed species.
B. 
The scientific name and common name of all trees, shrubs and groundcover proposed for the site.
C. 
The quantity of each species.
D. 
The size and spacing of each species at initial planting, either by caliper, spread or height. All deciduous trees shall be specified by caliper.
E. 
An indication as to how the plants will be grown and moved. For example, plants may be field grown or nursery grown and moved by ball and burlap (B&B), bare roots (BR) or containerized (can size).
F. 
Any remarks as to spacing of plants or other special information regarding the plant.
G. 
Grass seed mixture and rate of application or type of sod.
A. 
Planting details shall be shown for typical deciduous trees, evergreen trees, shrubs and groundcover. Details shall also be provided for any special planting conditions that may exist.
B. 
Installation details shall be shown and include:
(1) 
An indication as to how the plants will be grown and moved;
(2) 
The type of groundcover and mulches proposed;
(3) 
A drawing of a typical saucer berm;
(4) 
Area and depth of mulch;
(5) 
Directions for pruning;
(6) 
Depth and width of pit;
(7) 
Location and type of staking;
(8) 
Type of planting soil mixture; and
(9) 
Wrapping details for deciduous trees, evergreen trees, shrubs and groundcover.
A. 
The sheet size used for the landscape plan shall be one of the standard sizes permitted by the Map Filing Law. The plan shall be drawn at a scale no smaller than one inch equals 50 feet for major subdivisions and one inch equals 30 feet for site plans. On large projects, additional plans may be required showing sufficient detail to adequately explain the landscaping.
B. 
The landscape plan shall show, but not be limited to the following information:
(1) 
Signature, certification number and seal of the professional responsible for the plan.
(2) 
North arrow.
(3) 
Scale.
(4) 
Planting layout.
(5) 
Plant material list.
(6) 
Planting details.
(7) 
Specifications.
(8) 
General notes, as required.
C. 
All plant material shall be drawn to scale at mature size, reflecting the conditions of the site and clearly labeled as per type and quantity. For ease of readability, a selection of plant symbols should be used for identifying different types of trees and shrubs.
D. 
The landscape plan shall also show any type of construction material used in landscaping, such as, but not limited to, treated landscape timbers, fences, paving material, site furniture and recreational equipment and details, as required, to explain its use and construction.
A. 
Buffers and landscape screens shall consist of at least 75% evergreen species. Such buffers and screens shall consist of at least two parallel rows or groups of trees, with tree settings staggered so as to produce a visual screen at tree maturity. Evergreen trees shall be no further apart than 15 feet on center and a minimum of six feet high. The selected trees shall be thickly branched and dense, especially close to the ground, and shall have a fast growth rate in the early years. When available, and where appropriate, the following species may be used: Dark American Arborvitae (Thuja Occidentalis Nigra), spaced not more than 30 feet on center, Canadien Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Douglasi), White Pine (Pinus Strobus) and Norway Spruce (Picea Excelsa).
B. 
Where any lot or parcel of land is submitted for site plan or major subdivision approval, which site plan or major subdivision has a side or rear lot line abutting an existing roadway, appropriate landscaping and screening shall be provided by the applicant along such roadway and shown as part of the landscape plan. The plan, as otherwise provided herein, may consist of deciduous trees, evergreen trees, shrubs and/or berms and be so located so as to screen the side and rear yards of the properties without obstructing sight triangles.
C. 
Landscape screens shall be properly installed and continuously maintained in good condition by the owner of the land area which includes the screening strip.
A. 
Staking.
(1) 
All stakes are to be driven outside the root ball.
(2) 
Stakes shall be hardwood, and a minimum of two stakes shall be used per tree.
(3) 
Stakes, when driven, must be one-half to two-thirds the height of the tree, measured from the ground level.
(4) 
Stakes shall be two inches square.
(5) 
Stakes shall be attached to the tree with 12 gauge galvanized wire, covered with rubber or plastic hose where the wire is likely to come in contact with the tree trunk. An alternative may be any of the commercially available materials designed for staking trees, with the approval of the Board Engineer. The loop in contact with the tree shall be lose enough to permit growth and prevent grinding for two years, but shall be tightly bound to the stake to prevent slipping.
(6) 
Stakes shall remain in place at least two years and be removed by the developer at that time.
B. 
Wrapping.
(1) 
Each deciduous tree shall be wrapped with an expandable paper or cloth treated to last at least one year.
(2) 
The wrap shall extend from the ground level up the trunk to the first branches.
(3) 
The wrap, to prevent scald, shall be attached or fastened at each end with a material that will permit growth without grinding.
C. 
Saucer.
(1) 
A ring of packed soil shall be placed around the finished planting hole of each tree.
(2) 
The saucer shall be a minimum of six inches higher than the finished grade.
(3) 
Saucers placed on slopes shall be level at the top and perpendicular to the tree trunk.
(4) 
Saucers are to be designed to catch and hold the maximum amount of water, either from natural precipitation or irrigation.
D. 
Mulching.
(1) 
A three-inch minimum layer of mulch shall be applied around each individual or group of trees and shrubs.
(2) 
A mulch, as defined in § 119-3, shall be considered any material, organic or inorganic, of a granular nature that is not readily subject to movement by wind or water.
(3) 
Shredded hardwood bark, partially rotted or nitrogen enriched, or licorice root may be used for mulching. New wood chips are not acceptable because of the bacteria drawing available nitrogen from the soil, thus preventing its use by the plants it is intended to protect.
E. 
Tree and shrub pits. All pits for planting shall be six inches deeper and at least 12 inches wider than the ball of the plant. A mound comprised of a plant soil mixture as specified herein shall be placed and compacted to a minimum of six inches thickness at the bottom of the pit to provide support for the ball of the plant.
F. 
Planting. Plants shall be set straight, backfilled and firmly tamped and then adequately watered, guyed, pruned and wrapped.
G. 
Planting soil mixture. The types of backfill mixture shall consist of two-thirds topsoil and one-third peat, or other materials as required by specific plants.
H. 
Topsoil. Stripping, stock piling, site preparation and application of topsoil shall be in accordance with the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey and the Soil Conservation District for Burlington County.
A. 
Only nursery grown material will be acceptable, unless a tree spade, commercial tree moving equipment, is used.
B. 
No planting shall be done at street intersections that will interfere with traffic safety and proper sight distances.
C. 
Plant species should not be of the exotic variety requiring substantial maintenance or be materially affected by pollution, salt damage along highways or current insect manifestations.
D. 
All areas with a 33% slope or greater must be planted with an approved groundcover to stabilize the slope.
E. 
The grade and land located within six feet of an existing tree that will remain on the site after construction shall not be raised or lowered more then six inches, unless compensated by welling or retaining wall methods.
F. 
For existing trees that will remain on the site after construction, no vehicular equipment is to be driven within six feet of such trees, and no building materials may be stacked or stored within six feet of such trees. A snow fence shall be installed around trees adjacent to site construction to maintain a six-foot clear area.
G. 
During construction, no trees are to support any scaffoldings, signs, temporary utility or other devices.
H. 
Replacement of all new trees and shrubs which fail to survive shall be made at the next planting season.
I. 
Consideration will be given to the height and width of plants at maturity to prevent crowding and shading as the plants grow.
J. 
The existing natural trees remaining in a development shall be pruned to remove dead and diseased limbs and offensive vines and undergrowth.
The requirements of this chapter shall be enforced by the Township Engineer or Construction Code Official, who shall inspect or require adequate inspection of work. If the Township Engineer or Construction Code Official find any conditions not as stated in any application, (s)he may refuse to approve further work.
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
The landscape plan shall be submitted concurrent with applications for final or preliminary approval, and therefore, no additional fees shall be charged under this chapter. All expenses for legal, engineering or planning work required by the Township in connection herewith shall be authorized, paid and funded out of the escrow accounts set up as part of the fee and escrow structure under the applicable Township ordinances.