It would appear that Chestnut Hill has no shortage of trees. The neighborhood was dubbed “Philadelphia’s Garden District” 21 years ago for good reason. Trees of all variety abound, wrapping the neighborhood streets in greenery from the Wissahickon to Stenton Avenue.

As green as Chestnut Hill is, there are still spaces that could use trees. To that end, Chestnut Hill Tree Tenders is looking to fill any gaps along Chestnut Hill streets with trees they will deliver to your door and plant, free of charge. It’s a program well worth it.

Any homeowner in Chestnut Hill can ask Chestnut Hill Tree Tenders for a tree. Applications for the next planting are due by May 5. Anyone who wants a tree can get an application by emailing Mary Ann Boyer at maboyer61@gmail.com.Once the application is received, Tree Tenders will choose the best location and tree for your property, deliver the tree and plant it.

How great is that?

Does Chestnut Hill need more trees though? The easy answer is yes. You really can’t have too many.

In 2015, soon after a neighborhood-level tree-planting project promised to spend $54,000 planting 60 trees along Germantown Avenue, I noted a list of tree benefits compiled by the Arbor Day Foundation that included better home resale values, increased water quality and lower air conditioning bills.

A recent study by the University of Chicago has gone even further, finding evidence that more trees lead to longer life spans.

“Controlling for income, age and education, we found a significant independent effect of trees on the street on health,” said one of the study’s co-authors, Marc Berman. “It seemed like the effect was strongest for the public [trees]. Not to say the other trees don’t have an impact, but we found stronger effects for the trees on the street.”

In looking at the planting of urban street trees, the study found that an increase of 11 trees per city block was “comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.”

Street trees, it turns out, not only make the neighborhood look better, but help residents live healthier, longer lives.

Home and Garden Festival

This weekend visitors can enjoy Chestnut Hill’s tree-lined Germantown Avenue at the 22nd annual Home and Garden Festival, the remarkable day-long neighborhood celebration of crafts, food and entertainment.

Making the festival happen is no small feat for the staff of the Chestnut Hill Business District, who manage the entire thing, from mapping out locations for vendor stalls to hiring bands and securing proper permits. It’s an amazing effort for which they should be recognized.

Be sure to check out this issue’s Home and Garden supplement for information about the festival, other area events and home and gardening tips and info.

Pete Mazzaccaro

 

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