There is no denying that we live in a beautiful part of the world. One component of this beauty is our tree canopy. A couple years ago, my father, John Ward and I visited the second graders at Radnor Elementary School on Arbor Day. We began with a question, “What are the benefits of trees?” Immediately, several hands were raised and answers easily flowed: Trees provide shade, They are fun to climb. Leaves turn beautiful colors in the Fall, Leaves filter the air we breathe, Trees block noise, Trees help absorb water run-off. Clearly, the importance of trees to our community is being taught both at home and school – the future of trees is bright in our community.
In Radnor Township, we enjoy a rich history of planting and caring for trees. From George Childs planting an oak tree for then President Ulysses S. Grant during a visit to Wooton (now St. Aloysius Academy) in 1876 to the Rosengarten family dedicating their magnificent estate as a spectacular public garden, Chanticleer, our community has been committed to protecting open space and preserving our tree canopy. Our tree canopy has been valued through time.
While there is much to celebrate regarding our existing trees, it is equally important to stay focused in protecting our aging tree canopy and also restoring this canopy through planting new trees. Radnor Township’s tree planting program and the Radnor Conservancy’s Big Tree Program are important steps in restoring our canopy. Radnor Township’s Shade Tree Ordinance mandates protective regulations for trees and protects our tree canopy. Together, these are powerful steps in planning for our future tree canopy.
As homeowners, we are also property managers. We encourage everyone to begin or update their tree maintenance program. Through proper tree care and landscape planning - the life span of our valuable canopy can be extended and plans made to install new trees. Through these efforts, our tree canopy will thrive for the next hundred years and beyond.
There are many resources available on the web to learn about caring for our tree canopy. A good place to start is www.treesaregood.com, a site managed by the International Society of Arboriculture.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 Radnor Conservancy newsletter - The Conservationist