As we move firmly into the spring season, the face of our township changes dramatically. Our tree-lined streets brighten with spring foliage, and we are reminded of the suburban qualities that make our township such a wonderful place to love and raise our families. On behalf of all the members of the Hempstead Town Board, I would like to remind our residents that we all share a responsibility to protect our trees, which, in turn, preserves the suburban character of our neighborhoods.
Trees provide life-sustaining oxygen and restore the quality of the earth's endangered ozone layers that filter the harmful rays of the sun. Here in the Town of Hempstead we make a conscientious effort to protect the environment. The Town Board enforces legislation that requires town approval before certain trees may be removed. The following guidelines will help you determine whether your landscaping plans fall within regulations set forth by the town:
* No curbside tree may be removed or replaced without a permit from the town's highway department. The permit may be secured for a nominal fee.
* Upon removal, a curbside tree must be replaced by one of a species and size approved by the town. (Such species normally develop root systems that do not cause damage to sidewalks, curbs or utility installations)
When applying for a subdivision, reapportionment, or rezoning of any lot within the Town of Hempstead, the applicant must include plans showing the location of existing trees and indicate the ones that are slated for removal.
The town publishes a brochure entitled It's Your Sidewalk which contains information the homeowner should know regarding maintenance of residential sidewalks. The brochure also contains information on tree planting and removal, and lists types of trees suitable for planting. For your copy, call the sidewalk division of the Department of General Services at 489-5000 ext. 3447.
Throughout our communities, yards and landscapes are receiving the attention of caring homeowners. While lawns, flower beds and shrubbery aesthetically enhance most properties, there are times when landscaping decisions must include the removal of trees. Trees are an invaluable resource to our environment and their loss should not be taken lightly.