The remarkable trees of Saint Michael’s Hall

by Bill Valerio
Posted 5/5/21

Among the most important community assets of the Saint Michael’s estate are the mature trees, some of which date to the 19th century and were likely planted when the mansion was built.

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The remarkable trees of Saint Michael’s Hall

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As Woodmere works toward the purchase and renovation of Saint Michael’s Hall, we express our thanks to the many members of our community who have contributed to the effort. More than  100 people have been generous in many ways, and we are grateful.

Among the most important community assets of the Saint Michael’s estate are the mature trees, some of which date to the 19th century and were likely planted when the mansion was built. The English Beech on the property is one such magnificent specimen. While it needs some TLC, it was selected and planted for its majestic scale, which speaks through the generations about the confidence and bounty of Philadelphia when it was burgeoning center of industrial commerce in the late nineteenth century.  An American Elm towers over the façade of the building, and it’s a very rare, special beauty.  Walk over to Saint Michael’s just to see the Elm, but also don't miss the copper beech at the driveway, the sugar maples, oaks, and the unusually full stand of white pines.

Mature trees offer myriad benefits. They reduce stormwater runoff, remove carbon compounds from the air, sustain creatures and microorganisms, and have a cooling impact across the ecosystem, reducing the need for air conditioning. What’s more, beholding a beautiful tree is an experience of calm.

The great trees at Saint Michael’s need to be preserved, and many of them need attention. If it would be your inclination to adopt a tree, please reach out to Woodmere!

Bill Valerio is The Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO, Woodmere Art Museum

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