Tree Removal Regulations
At the request of the Shade Tree Commission of the Borough of West Cape May, Ordinance 494-15 was adopted establishing Chapter 30 of the Borough Code. Thereafter, Chapter 30 was amended by Ordinances 515-16, 529-17 and most recently, 566-19. The purpose of Chapter 30 is to protect trees on public and private property.
Before a tree can be removed, you must file an Application for Tree Removal with the Borough's Zoning Officer, together with the fee of $35.00 per tree, for each tree requested to be removed. All applications will be reviewed and approved or denied by the Shade Tree Commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting. These meetings are held once a month, on the first Tuesday of every month. Applications and fees must be received by the Zoning Office at least 10 days prior to the meeting date.
All Tree Removal Applications and fees are required to be submitted to the Borough's Zoning Official. Should the Secretary of the Shade Tree Commission need to be contacted, you may send an email to:
Trees which are approved for removal are usually asked to be replaced. Click Here for a list of approved trees which are urban and salt tolerant with a high wildlife benefit for West Cape May.
Shade Tree Commission Members                                                    TERM (5 year)        Alternates (2 year)                                                                             Shade Tree Meeting Dates (2020)                       AGENDA              MINUTES          
Wayne Hoffman, Chair 01/01/2019 - 12/31/2023 January 7 January 7 January 7
Susan Hoffman, Secretary (Alt. 1) 01/01/2019 - 12/31/2020 February 4 February 4 February 4
David Hammond, Vice Chair 01/01/2018 - 12/31/2022 March 3 March 3 March 3
H. Parker Smith 01/01/2020 - 12/31/2024 April 7 April 7 April 7
William McCray 01/01/2020 - 12/31/2024 May 5 May 5 May 5
Matt Notch 01/01/2018 - 12/31/2022 June 2 June 2 June 2
William Oetinger 09/10/2018 - 12/31/2020 July 7 July 7 July 7
Lisa Bernstein 01/01/2017 - 12/31/2021 August 4 August 4 August 4
Harry Schmidt (Alt. 2) 01/01/2019 - 12/31/2020 September 15 September 15 September 15
    October 6 October 6 October 6
    November 3 November 3 November 3
    December 8 December 8 December 8

All Shade Tree Commission meetings start at 6:00pm in the Caucus Room at West Cape May Borough Hall, 732 Broadway, West Cape May. A strikethrough indicates a cancelled meeting.

Access Information for May 5, 2020 Meeting
(held via Zoom web-conference)
Meeting ID: 839-8184-9128
Password: 167120
NATIVE PLANTS FOR YOUR GARDEN - prepared by Joseph McMahon, former Shade Tree Commission Member and Master Gardener
presented by Joseph McMahon, former Shade Tree Commission Member and Master Gardener
Did you know that the Borough of West Cape May stands smack in the middle of the greatest bird and butterfly migration throughout the entire world? It's true. Each year, in the spring, tens of thousands of birds and butterflies can be seen in this area, as they migrate north to their favorite ancestral nesting sites. This incredible sojourn is repeated in the fall when scores of birds and butterflies enjoy a return to West Cape May for rest before heading to their winter homes in the southern regions.
About fifty years ago, the spectacular migration was headed for serious trouble when traditional wildlife areas were taken over by an unprecedented housing boom. More and more feeding grounds were lost to housing construction, which diminished wildlife habitats. Fortunately, a need to preserve these habitats garnered public emphathy. Moreover, the important contribution that native plants play to enhance migratory patterns was becoming both recognized and appreciated.
In local landscapes, native plants are needed to start and maintain a successful backyard wildlife habitat. Native plants provide not only food and shelter for wildlife, but also cover and safe refuge. Other key benefits of native plants in your backyard are their penchant for conserving water; what's more, they don't require a lot of individual care. Plus, native plants can tolerate climate changes closely associated with seaside living.
The plants listed below are considered native to the Lower Cape May Region and a good way to start small:
  • Northern Bayberry (M. pensylvanica)
  • Common Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
  • Hawthorns (Crataegus spp)
  • Beach Plum (Prunus maritima)
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia Arbutifolia)
  • Smooth Winterberry (Ilex Laevigata)
  • Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)
  • Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
VICTORY GARDENING - presented by the West Cape May Shade Tree Commission