Got Shade?

Image by Noel Hefele

This recent heat wave in Philly was one for the record books! During such extreme temperatures, shade is a precious commodity in the city. Trees play a vital role in providing some much needed relief from the intense rays of the summer sun, plus they also can help improve air quality. Who doesn’t love fresh air and a cool break in the shade on a hot summer day? Cool fact: The Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation, the U.S. Forest Service, Philly Tree Map (Azavea), and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission are working together to conduct a tree survey this summer in our neighborhood to document the types, sizes and health of LoMo’s trees! We’ll be working with reps from these organizations to share this info with you as soon as it’s available. Click here to read more about this project.

LoMo volunteers have planted over 250 trees in our neighborhood since 2007. Every year, we organize spring and fall tree plantings and all residents are invited to pick up a shovel and join us – no experience is necessary. Throughout the year, LoMo volunteers also care for many of the trees that are planted at public locations, like schools, by watering, weeding, and mulching tree pits. LoMo can also provide advice and assistance to home owners who have questions about their trees.

Here are a few pointers for all tree owners:

  • Don’t forget to give your tree a healthy drink of water – 15 gallons – each and every week. During times of extreme heat, your tree would appreciate even more water. Consider investing in a tree gator to help make watering easy!
  • Don’t forget to remove weeds from your tree pit, which compete with your tree for water and nutrients.
  • Buy a bag of wood mulch every spring and every fall, leaving a ring around the base of the tree to make sure the mulch doesn’t actually touch your tree. The mulch will help prevent weeds, retain precious water, and also eventually decompose and enrich the soil your tree is growing in. Piling mulch too high around the base of your tree will lead to decay of the bark.
  • Consider installing some fencing to protect your tree from dogs, but don’t install anything that will prevent water from reaching the tree’s roots. Also, don’t install anything won’t allow for future growth of your tree.

Interested in a free tree? Click here to apply online for a free tree from the City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation Department.

Need to request that your tree be pruned? Need to request that your dead tree be replaced? Click here to fill out the City of Philadelphia’s online service request form.

Want to learn more and help our neighborhood grow greener? Click here to learn how you can become a certified Tree Tender through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

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