The Princeton Shade Tree Commission serves to protect and manage our community forest and shade trees.  Trees and shrubs are a natural resource that provide aesthetic, economic, ecological, environmental and health benefits to the municipality of Princeton and its inhabitants. The treatment of trees and shrubs on individual properties can have significant impact not only on those individual properties, but also on neighboring properties, the streetscape, the tree canopy and the entire municipality. Princeton’s tree and shrub ordinance (unofficial version) establishes rules and regulations for the stewardship of this resource within Princeton, on both public and private property. 

Princeton’s five-year Community Forestry Management Plan has been approved by the State and the New Jersey Community Forestry Council. The goal of the plan is to enhance, maintain, and support a sustainable community forest in a proactive and cost-effective manner that promotes the aesthetic, environmental, economic, cultural, and social vitality of Princeton.

Of interest to residents of Princeton is the tree inventory which has been completed by Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Click on the Tree Inventory to obtain an up to date report on Princeton's street trees, including location, species and status. This page provides user instructions.

Princeton is pleased to have been designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.


Princeton and the Shade Tree Commission are delighted to welcome the municipality's new arborist, Taylor Sapudar, who began work on April 30.

Taylor is a graduate of Mercer County College's horticulture program and has a Bachelor's degree from Rutgers in Environmental Planning, focusing on residential construction and landscape design.  He is a licensed tree expert and has a New York State arborist license. Most recently, he worked for Hill International as a resident engineer. In that capacity, he supervised the installation of trees and related plant materials in public spaces in all five boroughs of New York City. Prior to his work there, he was a managing arborist for SavATree, located in Hamilton.  

Taylor is enthusiastic about the opportunity to further our shared goal of enhancing, maintaining, and promoting Princeton's urban forest. His contact information can be found under "Contact," in the menu above.


Pest Alert

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a non-native insect pest that kills all species of Ash trees, has now been found in Princeton as well as in surrounding counties. This highly destructive insect has killed millions of Ash trees including many trees in our area. Princeton has formulated an EAB management plan for its approximately 1,800 Ash street trees; the plan includes tree removal and selective treatment. There is growing evidence that the White Fringetree is infested by the EAB as well.

The NJDEP State Forestry Services recommends:

  • IDENTIFY Ash trees. Ash species have opposite branches and leaves and a compound leaf with 5-11 leaflets. The bark on older trees has a unique diamond-shaped ridge bark, but younger trees may have smoother bark. Click here for images of an Ash tree and Ash tree look-alikes. 
  • MONITOR your Ash trees for the Emerald Ash Borer. You will know when the risk of mortality becomes urgent. Look for dying branches at the top of the tree, woodpecker damage, galleries under the bark, d-shaped holes, bark splits, sprouting at tree base and along trunk, and green adult beetles.
  • USE TRAPS to detect the Emerald Ash Borer in your community or woodlot. If the Emerald Ash Borer is in the area, it will be attracted to these purple prism traps.
  • SPREAD THE MESSAGE: DON'T MOVE FIREWOOD. Visitors who bring infested firewood to second homes or campgrounds near you put your trees at risk. Use only locally sourced or certified firewood.  (More information on firewood.) 

You Can Adopt an Ash Tree or Contribute to the STC Fund to Save Ash Trees

Click here for information about the Princeton Emerald Ash Borer "Adopt an Ash Tree" program and to download the participation form.(The form is also available at Princeton Public Library and at the office of the Municipal Clerk, 400 Witherspoon Street.)

Click here to download the STC Contribution Form. 



To determine the health of your Ash trees, consult Assess Ash Trees for Emerald Ash Borer.

Click here  To view the STC criteria that will help you decide whether to remove an ash tree or treat it.

Click here  To consult the Managing Emerald Ash Borer Decision Guide.  

Click here  For insecticide treatment options to protect ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer.

Click here   For FAQs regarding potential side effects of EAB insecticides.

Click here  To view the 2016 amendment to the Princeton Trees and Shrubs ordinance that exempts ash trees from some requirements of tree removal permits. 

Click here  To watch the STC's June 23, 2016, public information session on the Emerald Ash Borer, videotaped by and courtesy of Princeton TV.

For up-to-date EAB information, consult the Emerald Ash Borer Information Network. For New Jersey, consult the NJ Department of Agriculture's EAB website.   

For more information, the following websites are helpful:


In the parking lot behind the municipal building on Monument Drive (off of Route 206 South) are two islands with four white ash trees (Fraxinus americana). The first three photos below are of the two ash trees closest to the building. Note the bark with diamond-patterned ridges and the leaflets located on opposite sides of the leaf stem. If you notice a bluish blaze at the bottom of the tree, this means the tree has been treated with an EAB insecticide (last photo).

two ashes in parking lot.

Other Events


Arbor day was celebrated this year with the planting of a Princeton elm in front of the municipal building on Mercer street. The tree was planted in honor of Bernie Miller, a well-known and long-time citizen of Princeton. Bernie Miller served as mayor of Princeton Township and more recently retired from his elected position on Council, an office he held since Princeton consolidated in 2012. The event was organized by the Princeton Shade Tree Commission. Mr. Miller has been a strong advocate for street trees, parks, and open spaces in Princeton and served as the liaison on the Shade tree Commission for many years.
Like Mr. Miller, the Princeton elm  (Ulmus americana 'Princeton' ) has an illustrious history in Princeton. It is a cultivar of the American Elm and was developed in 1922 by Princeton's nurseryman William Flemer for its beauty but was later found to have a moderate resistance to the devasting Dutch Elm disease that wiped out most American elm trees. Many Princeton elms planted along Washington road survived the infestation and their upright branches form a beautiful cathedral-like canopy. 










Thanks to its recent “life-of-the-tree” adoption by Bartlett Tree Experts, the signature ash tree behind the War Memorial bench, at the intersection of Nassau and Mercer Streets, was injected with a protective insecticide, emamectin benzoate, on June 14, 2017.

First, former municipal arborist Lorraine Konopka measured the circumference of the tree to determine the correct amount of insecticide.

Then, Jason Bond, a plant health care specialist at Bartlett, drilled 12 entry points along the base of the tree, inserted small metal tubes, and pumped the insecticide into the tree. The whole procedure lasted 15 minutes. 











Lorraine Konopka, Princeton's former municipal arborist, was among the more than 40 talented scientists, parents, and community members who volunteered their time to wow Littlebrook Elementary School children during the 8th annual Science Expo on May 18, 2017. Set up beneath the cherry trees near the school's arcade, Ms. Konopka's table featured the Lorax (a Dr. Seuss character encouraging sustainability), fruiting ash tree branches, and vials containing the dreaded ash tree borer and its larvae. PSTC members Janet Stern and Pat Hyatt assisted Ms. Konopka throughout the afternoon.