Land Easement and Invasive Plants

achang89(Z6)October 17, 2005

A portion of our 3 acre land is within the convervation easement area, probably owned by the township. But the trees are on property. Within the easement, there are a lot of invasive plants, particularly the wild rose, a true beast. There are also other vining plants that trying to choke out our old oak trees.

Can I take out the invasive plants in the easement area of my property? The restrictions say to keep the easement AS-IS, no construction and no recreation. Am I allowed to upkeep the easement? Or I'll have to watch as the invasive plants take out our trees?

This is a rather remote area and our neighbor won't report. But I just do not want to break the law.....

Thanks for any help.

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njtea(NJ Z6)

I thought I'd answered this earlier today but it does not seem to have been posted.

I would contact the party who "owns" the easement and ask them if you could do some maintenance. My guess is that they would be most grateful.

You might suggest a site visit to discuss those plants you wish to remove.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 2:18PM
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steve_nj(7-a)

Generally, 'quiet' changes such as brush clearing are not noticed, but tree cutting will make eyebrows go up. Consider getting named varieties of native shrubs and trees and gradually replace the weedy vegetation with more ornamental types. One of my favorite sources is Forestfarm. Just plan first and protect the new acquisitions from animals. The private sector is often a better steward of the environment than government. Asking permission first is a good idea, but use your own judgement as well.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:02PM
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achang89(Z6)

Called township. They owns the easement right. They say contact landscape architect with any problem. They may come to inspect and give the green light....

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 9:44PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Let us know how it goes. I can't imagine you would have any problems going ahead on this.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 9:25AM
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yelena

An easement means that the company (or township in your case) can come any time and dig anywhere. When you landscape the easement be prepare for demolishing of your nice landscape some day without any warning. Before starting the work you need to check the purpose of the easement: drainage, detention basin, power lines, gas or water lines, etc. I have drainage easement on my property. I have planted flower bed (daylilies, irises, sedums) and raspberry patch on it. So if some work will be done on easement, I will re-plant very easily and with minimal loss.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 9:30PM
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achang89(Z6)

This is the conservation easement. There are trees, shrubs and tall grasses, also all the invasive weeds in there. According to the official rules, people are not supposed to utilize the land. So you pay the tax $$ and can not touch it.

But on the other hand, there are invasive plants in the official list, such as multifloral rose and Jap honeysuckle. They take over the land and smother trees. The township will never have the resources to clean it up....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 9:56PM
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yelena

If this easement marked by sticks "conservation" easement, try to call conservation committee (usually county handles it, not township). In general you cannot do anything to this land, even clean or mow it. But try to complain about rodents and homeless animals claiming a health danger so you could clean and re-plant area with New Jersey NATIVE plants, at least near your house and lawn. I live in in the development that has a similar easement. We have moved 6 years ago when it was kind of cultivated and nice looking. Now itÂs a debris area with all possible animals coming out of woods: foxes, rabbits, groundhogs, deer, bear (a few times already), etc. No human walks near it, so itÂs really nicely "preserved". It's a common association property and we pay taxes on it too.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 9:21AM
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