Colonial Canopy Trees 2022 Year-End Summary
Another year has gone by, and it’s time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in 2022! Thanks to the support of many incredible volunteers, donors, and collaborators throughout the area, we continued to improve our local environment by planting native trees and plants, removing invasives, restoring green spaces, and advocating for environmental change!
2022 was a big year for us, and featured many awesome projects! In 2022, we expanded our efforts to the Norristown area, while continuing to support ecological restoration work in Plymouth, Whitemarsh, Conshohocken and beyond.
- In total, we planted 206 trees in 2022, bringing our total to 438 total trees since we started in the summer of 2020. This spring, we also planted 150 additional trees and shrubs from the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, which were not counted in our total.
- We held over 25+ events which engaged over 120 community volunteers! These events ranged from invasive plant removal to tree planting to litter clean ups, and included over 400+ total volunteer hours!
- We planted over 35 trees in Norristown, including at Stewart Middle School, a park and within high-priority areas. We worked with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to organize a free tree giveaway for Norristown residents, which provided over 80 additional trees!
- We received over 30 monetary donations in 2022, totaling over $3,300. These funds helped purchase trees, deer-protection fencing, stakes, loppers, pruners, watering bags and more.
We tackled many different projects this year. More information and photos regarding specific projects will be found on our Current Projects page after it is constructed.
In Plymouth Township, we worked to restore native tree coverage to many of our parks. With the help of Rick Carbo, Buildings and Grounds Director, we planted 52 native trees within our public parks including Bicentennial, Black Horse, Alan Wood, Colwell, and Harriet Wetherill. Many of these were purchased through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’ (PHS) tree tenders program, with funding from Plymouth Township. These trees are typically 1.5 inches in caliper and are about 10-12 feet tall.
In addition, we focused on restoring a small remnant forest at Harriet Wetherill Park. This wooded area has many mature native trees that are often hard to find in Plymouth Meeting including white oak (Quercus alba), red oak (Quercus rubra), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa) and flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). We removed encroaching invasive species like amur honeysuckle (Lonicera mackii), Norway maple (Acer platanoides), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) and common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), and planted native trees like American beech (Fagus grandifolia), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), and white oak (Quercus alba). Lastly, we fenced in many young native saplings that are naturally regenerating to prevent deer damage.
At Bicentennial Park, we worked to restore an eroding stream bank along Sawmill Run. We planted water-loving trees like swamp white oaks (Quercus bicolor), pin oak (Quercus palustris), baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), and American sycamores (Platanus occidentalis). These plants will help stabilize the stream bank and increase wildlife habitat as they grow!
In Whitemarsh Township, we worked to restore native trees to our parks and public areas. The township continued to support tree restoration efforts this year. Through Colonial Canopy Trees, the township purchased 19 PHS native tree tender trees to plant at Valley Green Park (13) and at the Historic Hope Lodge (6).
We continued to expand on Miles Park’s tree coverage in 2022. We planted 3 new trees, thanks to resident donations. We also provided care to the 10 trees we planted last year.
At the Wells Street Trails / Woods, we worked with volunteers, the township, high school students, and others to remove invasive plants and vines and to restore native trees. We planted a few oaks, eastern redbuds (Cercis canadensis) and spicebush (Lindera benzoin).
This was our second year working to restore a small, township-owned parcel along Mathers Lane. We planted 15 new native trees including 4 red oaks, 2 pawpaws, and 4 maples. We also provided some care for the 40+ trees and shrubs that were planted here last fall, and cut down large patches of invasive bamboo! Our goal is to restore a native forest with large canopy trees on most of the parcel, with a smaller area left for native meadow, grasses and shrubs.
Lastly, we assisted with the Whitemarsh Township tree giveaway. Expanding on its efforts from 2021, the township gave over 250 native trees and adequate fencing to residents! We helped choose the native species, and assisted with resident pick up. Look for the new fenced in trees around Whitemarsh!
We were excited to bring the benefits of more trees to Norristown this year. Norristown’s tree canopy coverage is low relative to surrounding municipalities, and a larger percentage of the population live below the poverty line.
In collaboration with PHS, we organized a tree giveaway for Norristown residents. Over 50 residents signed up and chose up to two trees for their property, ranging from large-maturing oak trees to smaller fruit-bearing trees like peaches and apples. The trees were purchased by PHS through an ArborDay environmental justice grant. Colonial Canopy Trees spread the word throughout the community, helped residents choose planting locations and species, and helped organize the pick up event. In total, we gave away over 90 trees!
We also worked with Montgomery County OIC, a local non-profit working to provide employment and training programs to the local community. Here, we planted 13 trees including two fruit trees for their garden! Similarly, we worked with our friends at Carp Dental to plant 6 native trees on their property. Located along West Main Street, this area of Norristown is a high priority for tree canopy restoration.
We worked with the Stonybrook Condominium community to restore trees throughout their neighborhood including along the stream that runs through the area.
Lastly, with the help of Lisa Bobyock from the Norristown Borough, we were able to plant a few trees along Stony Creek at Elmwood Park.
We hope to expand our efforts in Norristown to help bring the benefits of trees to more people!
In 2022, we formed a great partnership with the Friends of Fort Washington (FOFW) and with park staff at Fort Washington State Park. This partnership resulted in many volunteer events over the course of the summer that cut large invasive vines, planted native trees and more.
In the summer of 2021, a damaging tornado tore through the park and unfortunately destroyed many native trees, including much of the pine forest northeast of the Hawk Watch. To help preserve the remaining forest, we worked with the FOFW and with the park staff to remove large oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) vines from many native trees. These vines eventually shade out or strangle the trees. We also focused on cutting down invasive privets (Ligustrum spp), honeysuckles (Lonicera spp) and buckthorns (Rhamnus spp).
In early fall, we turned our efforts towards the Flourtown Day Use Area of the park, located off of West Mill Road. This lowland area predominantly consisted of ash trees (Fraxinus), until recently, when they all succumbed to the invasive emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). To restore much of the lost tree coverage, we planted 11 native trees including oaks, maples, tulip trees and sweetgum.
Lastly, we partnered up with the folks at Fort Washington Disc Golf (FWDG) to restore native plants along the disc golf course. As part of a larger restoration project, Colonial Canopy Trees purchased and donated 6 white oaks (Quercus alba), and 5 black gums (Nyssa sylvatica). FWDG also planted spicebush (Lindera benzoin), hazelnuts (Corylus americana), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), and more. Some invasive species were also removed from the course.
Acknowledgments and Thanks
We would like to acknowledge and thank those who continue to support our mission. We want to thank Plymouth Township, Whitemarsh Township, Friends of Fort Washington, Fort Washington State Park, and others mentioned above for working with us to better our local environment!
To the countless volunteers who showed up and contributed to our many events this year, THANK YOU! Thank you for volunteering your time to make a positive impact in your community. Without you, we could not accomplish nearly as much. We hope you left each of our events feeling fulfilled, and we hope you learned a lot from volunteering!
We want to thank our donors, who continue to support us with monetary gifts, plants, fencing, equipment, tools, and more! In 2022, we received 30 monetary donations which totalled over $3,300. As a non-profit, 100% of these funds will be used for trees, deer fencing, stakes, tools, watering bags and more!
Many folks also donated unwanted native trees from their yards, which we grow in our nursery and ultimately plant in our community! Some donated deer-protection fencing, stakes, and tools.
We are so thankful to have such a great support system within our community, and we certainly could not do it without you!
Happy Holidays and see you next year!
As the cold weather sets in, our 2022 trees are bedded down for winter dormancy. In the new year, we will begin planning for a big 2023 season!
If you have any suggestions for projects, or would like more trees in your area, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you have a great holiday season! We hope to see you in the spring. Thanks for all you do!
– Andrew Conboy, Karen Kabnick, and Trish McArthur
Here’s a list of what we planted in 2022!
|latin name||species||total||Not native to PA?|
|Quercus bicolor||swamp white oak||19|
|Quercus alba||white oak||14|
|Gymnocladus dioicus||Kentucky coffeetree||10|
|Nyssa sylvatica||black gum||8|
|Acer saccharum||sugar maple||8|
|Acer saccharinum||silver maple||7|
|Carpinus caroliniana||American hornbeam||6|
|Quercus rubra||northern red oak||5|
|Tilia americana||American linden||5|
|Quercus sect. Lobatae||Red Oaks (uncertain)||5|
|Ulmus americana||American elm||4|
|Acer rubrum||red maple||4|
|Acer x freemani||freeman’s maple||3|
|Quercus montana||chestnut oak||3|
|Fagus grandifolia||American beech||3|
|Platanus occidentalis||American sycamore||3|
|Quercus phellos||willow oak||2|
|Salix discolor||pussy willow||2|
|Juglans nigra||black walnut||2|
|Betula nigra||river birch||2|
|Juniperus virginiana||eastern red-cedar||2|
|Robinia pseudoacacia||black locust||2|
|Picea pungens||blue spruce||1||X|
|Pinus strobus||white pine||1|
|Hamamelis virginiana||common witch hazel||1|
|Quercus macrocarpa||bur oak||1|
|Quercus x heterophylla||Bartram oak||1|
|Malus ‘Honeycrisp’||honeycrisp apple||1||X|
|Prunus dulcis||hardy almond||1||X|
|Prunus serotina||black cherry||1|
|Quercus palustris||pin oak||1|
|Metasequoia glyptostroboides||dawn redwood||1||X|
|Cornus sericea||red twig dogwood||1|