Friends of Madison Shade Trees

Friends of Madison Shade Trees, Inc. (FMST) is a non-profit organization located in Madison, New Jersey.  Our  volunteer Trustees are committed to maintaining the beautiful canopy of mature street trees that line the community streets. With the help of private donations, fund raising, and grant awards we supplement the Borough of Madison’s Shade Tree Management Board. We have created and continue to maintain pocket parks and landscaped gardens on public property throughout Madison, The Rose City. FMST’s efforts ensure beautiful, healthy and native tree species for our enjoyment today and for generations to come.

 FMST Mission

* Plant Trees on Public Property 
* Educate about the urban forest 
* Support the Shade Tree Management Board
Words from the President of the Friends of the Madison Shade Trees, Inc.

Over the last three decades, Friends of Madison Shade Trees has planted hundreds of new trees and shrubs in the Borough, all on public property using grants, donations from residents and businesses, proceeds from fund-raising efforts and in-kind services. FMST plans, designs, purchases, and provides installation.  We manage projects of all sizes, from the historically accurate restoration of the landscape surrounding the Madison Train Station and the creation of Rose Garden Park to maintaining a tree nursery at the Community Gardens.  We work hard to maintain the trees we plant, and we offer educational materials and programs as part of the May Day celebrations and Bottle Hill Day.  We work closely with the Shade Tree Management Board, the Department of Public Works, local businesses, the scouts, The Garden Club of Madison, The Parks Commission, The Environmental Commission, Sustainable Madison, and the Community Garden -- all of us are dedicated to keeping Madison green (in every sense of that word).

The Friends of Madison Shade Trees was created in 1989 for the purpose of planting more trees in the Borough of Madison than the annual budget can do by itself.  We supplement the work of The Shade Tree Management Board, so that needed trees can be added to our streets, public spaces, and parking lots. The protection of trees and accelerated planting of more trees has become become a national concern -- mature shade trees do the greater part of the work we need trees to do -- that is, converting CO2 to oxygen so we can breathe; intercepting airborne particulates and improving air quality; capturing a slowing rainfall and filtering it through their roots; stabilizing soil erosion.  These are environmental factors that affect everyone all the time.  In addition, properly chosen and planted shade trees -- the big ones -- save homeowners and commercial properties 15% - 20% ANNUALLY in heating and cooling costs.  Furthermore, those same trees add thousands of dollars to the resale value of property.

The trees we need the most take 30 to 50 years to mature, so the loss of every single one of them is a big loss -- and over the past five years, Madison has lost hundreds of them to Superstorms, age, disease, drought, and development.  Even if we'd replaced every lost tree with another of the same kind, it would take Madison a generation to recover its canopy. 

If you looked at an aerial view of Madison in years past, you'd quickly notice the great loss of major shade trees especially along our roads.   As the town has grown and traffic increased, pollution and development have accelerated the loss of shade trees.  When a huge tree dies and is replaced by a new one, the leaf cover of the new tree is so minimal, by comparison, that the character of the site changes. Multiply this effect by as many at 200 removals each year, and the magnitude of the problem becomes immediately apparent.

We are always looking for people who share our interest in Madison's canopy -- the Board of Trustees currently has ten  members, and we'd welcome more.  No special skills or learning are required -- and it speaks awfully well of the Board that several of its original members are still serving. 

And everyone can help by planting new canopy shade trees wherever they can -- the right tree in the right place makes an enormous difference.  Please contact us if you would like suggestions, help, or even a new tree -- you can write to us at FMST  P.O, Box 632          Madison, New Jersey 07940.

As the weather patterns continue to change, it becomes more and more important to care for the trees we have -- trees need regular pruning, and they need watering during dry spells.  In exchange for our care, trees give us shade, beauty, clean air, saved water, and soil protection.  It's a good deal --

  Chris Schorr, President