Colonial Canopy Trees Plants 24 New Trees

To celebrate the end of Earth Week in proper fashion, Colonial Canopy Trees (CCT) planted 24 new trees throughout Whitemarsh and Plymouth Townships this past weekend. Check out the photo gallery here!

We recently became an official Tree Tenders group through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. This program requires at least three individuals from a group to take a short course on tree planting and care. After completing the course, that group is able to purchase large, bare-root trees in the Spring and Fall each year for a great price.

For Spring 2021, Whitemarsh Township purchased 14 trees, and CCT purchased 10. We rallied volunteers to help plant all 24 trees over two days. Girl Scouts Troop 7511 planted 5 trees at Koontz Park and 5 trees at Plymouth Elementary. We presented a short PowerPoint presentation about tree planting and care to the Girl Scouts troops and their parents prior to the planting event, and gave a planting demonstration in person. We hope the girls learned a lot and enjoyed the great work that they did! The remainder of the trees were planted by local volunteers.

In addition to our volunteers, we would like to thank everyone else who made this project possible. Thank you to Whitemarsh Township for planting 14 trees and showing commitment to greening our community. Thank you to Whitemarsh Parks staff for helping dig, water, and mulch the new trees. Lastly, Thank you to our donors who contributed to Colonial Canopy Trees and this project.

For an interactive map of planting locations and species, click here and type in “Colonial Canopy Tree Tenders” in the search.

Here is the list of locations of the 24 trees:

Leeland Park:

  • 3x Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’Japanese Zelkova
  • Acer freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’Freeman’s Maple

Valley Green Park:

  • 2x Acer freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ – Freeman’s maple
  • 3x Platanus occidentalis – American Sycamore

Koontz Park:

  • 3x Gymnocladus dioicus – Kentucky Coffee Tree ‘Espresso’
  • 2x Betula nigra River Birch

Colonial School District:

  • 2x Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’Japanese Zelkova PWHS sign along Germantown Pike
  • 3x Acer freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’ Freeman’s Maple Hybrid – Victory Fields (above JV softball)
  • 3x Acer saccharum ‘Autumn Fest’ Sugar Maple – Plymouth Elementary near parking lot
  • 2x Platanus occidentalis American Sycamore – Plymouth Elementary along Plymouth Road

2020 Planting Season Totals & Summary

A Closer Look at Trees Planted

After our official launch in summer of 2020, we quickly got to planting and restoring trees in the Plymouth, Conshohocken and Whitemarsh areas! In total, we planted 49 new trees:

Planting native trees offers many benefits to birds, insects and other wildlife. We planted a good variety of native species in 2020. Here is a breakdown:

Although not as useful for wildlife in our area, non-native (but not invasive) trees can still be useful in sequestering carbon, purifying the air and fighting climate change. Trees like the Dawn Redwood and Ginkgo are relatively popular ornamental trees that do well in a variety of conditions and very rarely escape cultivation or harm native vegetation. In 2020, we planted 8 Dawn Redwoods, 1 Ginkgo biloba and 1 London Plane Tree.

Donations

We are so thankful for the many of you who joined us in our efforts this year. In total, we had 8 monetary donors who provided $275 for tree planting initiatives. To date, we used $71.25 to purchase and plant 3 trees, like the one you see below.

Andrew Conboy planting a tree in the ground.

This Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) was planted at Sandwood Park on the border of Plymouth Township and Conshohocken.

We also planted a 10-foot Red Maple (Acer rubrum) at Sutcliffe Park in Conshohocken. This Red Maple replaced a dead tree near the new playground and basketball courts at the park.

We plan to use remaining funds to purchase additional trees and seedlings next season!

Eight of you donated tree seedlings to us from your property this year, for a total of 57 trees! Most of these are overwintering right now, and will grow in our nursery for some time before planting in a permanent spot. However, 13 of these were already planted in the ground, and we will continue to monitor and care for them as they mature.

While some seedling donations may not survive the transplanting process, we are very grateful to those who take the time to save them. The prospect of restoring our canopy with free, local and native seedlings is an exciting thought to us!

Lastly, 8 of you donated supplies like seed starting trays, nursery pots and soil. Your trays are currently helping us cold-stratify many seeds in hopes of sprouting countless seedlings this spring, and your nursery pots are likely housing an overwintering tree!

Events

We had one large planting event this year in the Whitemarsh Woods neighborhood. This neighborhood has lost a number of mature trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer and other factors. Here, we planted 24 of our own trees, and helped plant 16 additional nursery-bought white Pines (Pinus strobus).

Many Cub Scouts from Troops 140 and 1140 joined us and were a huge help! Whitemarsh Woods residents and outside community residents pitched in, too. It was a busy day, but we are so happy to have helped with this project! Click here to see the photo gallery for this project!

Summary

We are so happy with our first year of work, but we are extremely excited about 2021 – we know it will be a big year for tree planting!

Thank you for supporting us and for doing your part in fighting climate change and environmental issues!

Photo Credit: Jaymantri at jaymantri.com/