← Back to Departments Overview

Maxwell Park Landscape Improvements

This resource will take you to a new site. Please click on the button below to access:
Maxwell Park Landscape Improvements

Tropical Storm Isaias

On August 4, 2020, strong winds from Tropical Storm Isaias uprooted trees at Maxwell Park. A certified arborist completed an onsite review of all trees within the park to identify and evaluate tree damage resulting from the tropical storm.

The arborist noted that nearly all the 7”-8” diameter London planes trees that formed an allée in the eastern portion of the park uprooted or partially uprooted as a result of the tropical storm’s strong winds. The only trees that did not uproot were a single, small recent replacement tree at the eastern end of the allée, and a few in more protected locations at the western end of the allée. Two of the trees that had been removed with only the stumps left remaining were dead or nearly dead.

Site Constraints at Maxwell Park

The fact that trees in the allée were fully exposed to the full force of winds at the river’s edge was a key factor in their damage, but further engineering investigation showed that the subsoil conditions also contributed to the loss of trees. During stump removal, the arborist found approximately 8-inches of quality topsoil on top of a very poor quality and highly compacted subsoil. This subsoil has significant amounts of gravel, rubble, and clay, and was compacted to a degree similar to deteriorating concrete, resulting in poor internal drainage and aeration. Live and healthy roots from the London plane trees were strictly limited to the shallow topsoil layer where there was sufficient aeration for them to survive and function. No living roots were found in the compacted subsoil. Portions of the original root balls that were planted in the subsoil (i.e. below 8”-12” deep) were dead and decayed due to the lack of sufficient drainage and aeration.

Irrigation required to maintain the high-quality lawn area likely exacerbated the tree root health issue by maintaining constantly wet and anaerobic conditions in the slow draining subsoil. As a result, the shallow, “pancake” structure of the living root systems in the topsoil layer was sufficient to keep the trees alive but provided insufficient anchorage to keep the trees standing during high wind loads.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection records show that the peninsula was originally constructed over historic fill material and an existing engineering control (i.e., "cap") is present at 24" depth throughout the site, covered by the poor quality subsoil.

These site conditions make it unlikely that large trees like the London Plane trees that were on the peninsula would be able to survive if planted again.

As a result, the Maxwell Park Board, in consultation with their certified arborist, engineer, the City of Hoboken, and members of the Shade Tree Commission, determined that the best course of action would be to consider other design alternatives to enhance the landscape.

Maxwell Park Landscape Improvements

Contact Info

Maxwell Park Landscape Improvements

Tropical Storm Isaias

On August 4, 2020, strong winds from Tropical Storm Isaias uprooted trees at Maxwell Park. A certified arborist completed an onsite review of all trees within the park to identify and evaluate tree damage resulting from the tropical storm.

The arborist noted that nearly all the 7”-8” diameter London planes trees that formed an allée in the eastern portion of the park uprooted or partially uprooted as a result of the tropical storm’s strong winds. The only trees that did not uproot were a single, small recent replacement tree at the eastern end of the allée, and a few in more protected locations at the western end of the allée. Two of the trees that had been removed with only the stumps left remaining were dead or nearly dead.

Site Constraints at Maxwell Park

The fact that trees in the allée were fully exposed to the full force of winds at the river’s edge was a key factor in their damage, but further engineering investigation showed that the subsoil conditions also contributed to the loss of trees. During stump removal, the arborist found approximately 8-inches of quality topsoil on top of a very poor quality and highly compacted subsoil. This subsoil has significant amounts of gravel, rubble, and clay, and was compacted to a degree similar to deteriorating concrete, resulting in poor internal drainage and aeration. Live and healthy roots from the London plane trees were strictly limited to the shallow topsoil layer where there was sufficient aeration for them to survive and function. No living roots were found in the compacted subsoil. Portions of the original root balls that were planted in the subsoil (i.e. below 8”-12” deep) were dead and decayed due to the lack of sufficient drainage and aeration.

Irrigation required to maintain the high-quality lawn area likely exacerbated the tree root health issue by maintaining constantly wet and anaerobic conditions in the slow draining subsoil. As a result, the shallow, “pancake” structure of the living root systems in the topsoil layer was sufficient to keep the trees alive but provided insufficient anchorage to keep the trees standing during high wind loads.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection records show that the peninsula was originally constructed over historic fill material and an existing engineering control (i.e., "cap") is present at 24" depth throughout the site, covered by the poor quality subsoil.

These site conditions make it unlikely that large trees like the London Plane trees that were on the peninsula would be able to survive if planted again.

As a result, the Maxwell Park Board, in consultation with their certified arborist, engineer, the City of Hoboken, and members of the Shade Tree Commission, determined that the best course of action would be to consider other design alternatives to enhance the landscape.

Draft Landscape Design

The Maxwell Park Board has retained Boswell Engineering to investigate various alternatives to enhance the landscape given the site constraints outlined above. The City of Hoboken hosted a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 6:00 PM to review draft plans for landscape improvements, shown below.

Click here to download a PDF of the draft plans.

Click here to view the meeting recording.

Final Landscape Design

The Maxwell Park Board considered all public comments submitted during and after the public meeting with Boswell Engineering. The Final Landscape Design addresses several comments from the public and Shade Tree Commission as follows:

  • Added three (3) more matching shade trees along the east side of the triangular grass area along the roadway for a total of nine (9) shade trees in this area.
  • Added six (6) more Eastern Redbud trees along the south side of the walkway on the land pier for a total of 12 Eastern Redbud trees.
  • Added one (1) more River Birch tree by the playground for a total of 2 River Birch trees.
  • Removed picnic tables and large planters within the concrete area.
  • Removed planters along the waterfront railing.
  • Removed the benches in the far area of the pier so police vehicles can easily navigate the area.
  • Substituted the tender perennial purple fountain grass with a strong perennial purple flame grass and karl foerster feather reed grass.  The reed grass is a strong perennial and also has tolerance to dog urine.
  • Updated the planting detail to identify the 24 inches of existing soil cap, the geotextile fabric liner, and the proposed 12 inches of select fill at the surface.

The final plans propose 26 new trees, includingnine (9) matching trees, two (2) River Birch trees, 12 Eastern Redbud trees,and three (3) Rutban Dogwood trees.

Click here to download a PDF of the final plans.

knowledge base: faqs



Does the Shade Tree Commission have a list of trees that they recommend for planting? View the approved list of tree species.

Who should trim the tree in front of my house? Please contact David Calamoneri.

I know of a tree that I believe is dying or is dangerous, who should I contact? Please contact David Calamoneri.

How do I become a volunteer for the Shade Tree Commission? Please contact Peter Bakarich III.

How do I apply to be a commissioner on the Shade Tree Commission? Submit an application for appointment to citizen advisory boards and commissions.

When does the Hoboken Shade Tree commission meet? Click here to view the meeting dates for 2015.

What are the benefits and reasons for planting trees in Hoboken? Read about 13 Reasons to plant trees.

How can I find out info on the tree(s) on my Street? View the Hoboken Tree Inventory.

No items found.