by Mary Ann Boyer & Jean McCoubrey

With a warming planet, what can one do? The answer is simple: Plant trees!

Trees offer financial, social and health benefits. Tall, mature trees trap pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide, provide oxygen, and transpire water through the soil. Studies show property values are higher along tree-lined streets. Native trees provide food and shelter to wildlife. Trees cool buildings and soothe tempers; in essence, they are nature’s air conditioners.

Chestnut Hill currently benefits from numerous, lovely, mature trees; however, many trees are aging and need to be replaced for future generations. With the soaring heat of July and August, now is the perfect time to take stock of areas in your yard and neighborhood that might benefit from some tree plantings.

The Chestnut Hill Tree Tenders (CHTT) – as well as other Tree Tenders groups in Mt Airy and Germantown – plant free street trees provided by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS).

Since April 2016, the CHTT organized three tree planting events where volunteers planted 114 street and yard trees. Prior to the CHTT’s formation, the Chestnut Hill Community Fund Green Space Initiative funded the ReTree program and planted 70 trees along Germantown Avenue in 2015-2016.

Homeowner Mary Pomichter received her Tree Tender street tree last spring.

“We love our newly planted tree,” Mary noted. “It looks beautiful and creates shade in an area that was bare. We are happy to support efforts to keep our neighborhood green and are grateful to the Tree Tenders for their knowledge and assistance.”

This summer, the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) announced a “tree fund” thanks to a generous estate gift. Under the umbrella of the CHCA, groups like the Chestnut Hill Tree Tenders, ReTree, and the Green Space Initiative will collaborate to further green our community.

How can you get involved and receive free street trees?

Come meet new people and help plant trees with the CHTT on Saturday, Nov. 18, beginning at 9 a.m. Or visit PHS’s website (phsonline.org) to upload a “Street Tree Request Form,” and send your application form to maboyer61@gmail.com by Oct. 28. Upon approval, the Chestnut Hill Tree Tenders will plant your tree next April. You’ll be helping to further green our community.

Mary Ann Boyer and Jean McCoubrey are co-chairs of Chestnut Hill Tree Tenders.

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