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The Flower Show

Earth Week: Part Five

April 24, 2020

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Earth Week Arbor Day

Celebrating Arbor Day!

“One of my favorite ways to celebrate Arbor Day is a simple stroll through my neighborhood,” says Dana Dentice, PHS Program Manager, Urban Forestry. In this video, she takes us on a walk through her West Philadelphia neighborhood, identifying several trees common throughout the city along the way.

Hackberry provides wildlife value and even produces edible berries in the fall. “You can identify a Hackberry by quirky ridges and texture on its bark,” says Dentice. “If planting one, you will need to keep any potential power line interferences in mind, as this tree can grow to height of forty to sixty feet. Hackberry was named the Society of Municipal Arborists' 2020 Tree of the Year  and recognized as one tree species that will be resilient to climate change.

The London planetree, a cross between Oriental plane and a native sycamore, is equally tough as a street tree and easy to identify by unique camouflaged bark. “These trees are the workhorse of trees in Philadelphia due to their size and longevity,” says Dentice. “It can outlive a lot of other species on the streets and it is huge, so it provides the most ecosystem services.”

But the toughest species is the Gingko, which has survived for over 200 million years and has been equally resilient to both dinosaurs and urban pollution. Gingko trees can bring some frustration by dropping foul-smelling seeds in the fall, but this can be avoided by planting male trees. “These local trees are common throughout Philadelphia due to their ability to thrive in varying soil conditions while tolerating urban pollution,” she explains.

Whether it’s a quick walk around the block or simply giving that tree outside your home an extra appreciative glance, we hope you’ll take some time this Arbor Day to learn more about the environmental impact and neighborhood beautification that trees provide.

If you would like to sign up to become one of more than 5,000 tree-loving PHS Tree Tenders, online training sessions begin on Wednesday, April 29.

Earth Week: Arbor Day

Earth Week Series: Arbor Day

Credits: Samuel Kingfisher - Director of Photography

Help plant more trees in the Greater Philadelphia Region by becoming a PHS Tree Tender.