The Importance of the Tree Canopy in South Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s 30% Tree Canopy Goal

When William Penn founded the city of Philadelphia, he designed it as a complex grid of building and great open spaces.  With two major corridors running north to south, and east to west, and heightened building by the riverfront to enhance the transportation of goods within the city to other locations, the layout was to encourage farm production for both local uses, as well as for trade and transport via these locations.  Unfortunately as Philadelphia began to grow, the original spacious open lots designed by Penn’s surveyor Thomas Holme began to disappear.  While the duo’s initial concepts are still featured in the five major public parks of the city: Logan Circle, Franklin Park, Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square and Fairmount Park, much of the original tree canopy of the city has dissipated.  The urban tree canopy of Philadelphia needs to be revitalized so that future generations can benefit from the numerous sustainable advantages the canopies’ presences provide to the city.

What exactly is an urban tree canopy?  Well an urban tree canopy is defined as the layer of leaves, branches, and stems that cover the ground when viewed from above.  (WFRG)  They are greatly important to sustainability initiatives in cities for many reasons.  First and foremost, an increased canopy presence in cities greatly helps with storm water management, by capturing rainfall that would eventually run off of streets and walkways and into local waters, collecting various pollutants from the surfaces and bringing them along.  Other benefits include reducing air and sound pollution by both siphoning pollutants from the air as well as providing barriers to everyday noises: pedestrians, cars, buses, etc.  Also, the canopy helps to reduce both heating and cooling costs, provides additional wildlife habitats, and most importantly enhances aesthetics of neighborhoods.  Overall, the canopy is a key component to an improved quality of life in various city communities.

In March of 2011 the University of Vermont completed a study on Philadelphia’s current and possible tree canopy, which discovered that the city’s overall canopy was roughly 20 percent.  It was reported that decades ago, the city’s tree canopy was upwards of 40 percent.  There is currently an initial goal of getting the city back to at least 30 percent coverage, but that is by no means the end.  Currently residing in South Philadelphia, I found these statistics rather surprising, actually higher than I expected, but I soon discovered why.  The study found that there were a dozen areas where the tree canopy was between 3 and 8 percent, or noted as ‘almost non-existent.’  Not surprising however, was seeing my current zip code of 19148 being listed as one of the South Philadelphia neighborhoods currently only featuring 3 percent canopy coverage.

Interestingly enough, the report mentions that half of the city’s land could easily support tree canopy, however these goals are unrealistic due to factors such as land costs and usages being impacted such as recreational fields, which are hard to include within an already constructed urban layout.  The Navy Yard, Eastwick, and Bridesburg sections of the city were mentioned as the locations with the highest percentage of land available to meet the current goals of the initiatives.  However, focusing on South Philadelphia, my current residence, it was rather disappointing to dissect the graphs.  While my neighborhood currently only features a 3% tree canopy, there is roughly 42-49% availability for potential tree canopy to be introduced.  The intriguing highlight is that the feasibility of my East Passyunk neighborhood to reach the 30% tree canopy goal of the city as a whole would require us to plant on all possible lots throughout the neighborhood.  Only 19 of the 155 neighborhoods of Philadelphia currently meet or exceed the 30% goal of the city. (UTC report)  However, it is possible for 102 of those neighborhoods to meet the goal by planting on available vegetated land. (UTC report)  In East Passyunk, this would require a 22-27% increase in tree canopy in order to achieve the goal, with readily available 42-49% land availability.

Another interesting fact to discuss via the report is the relationship between the presence of tree canopies in the city and the various major watersheds throughout Philadelphia.  The report discovered that the Thomas Mill Run and Kitchen’s Lane watersheds in northwest Philadelphia each have roughly 68% of their overall land area covered by tree canopy.  The Delaware River watershed has the lowest percentage of its land area covered by tree canopy at 7% however is the largest watershed in the city.  Surprisingly, of the city’s 58 watersheds, only 10 of them have more than 45% of their land area covered by tree canopy, which is the percentage associated with a “good” stream health in the mid-Atlantic region. (UTC report)  Taking these statistics and looking at the breakdown by neighborhood on the maps, once again, the South Philadelphia region contributes to the greatly low dip of the numbers.  All along the Delaware River, existing tree canopy maxes out at 16%, with the majority being in the 7-9% range (and we wonder why the Delaware is so polluted).  With a lack of tree canopy in this highly paved area, rain waters will carry any chemicals and treatments from the road tops, into the sewers and ultimately to the rivers, thus greatly affected sea life.  With all that being presented, the most disappointing statistic is that of that 7-9% existing canopy, over 60% of the land is readily available to introduce tree canopy along the Delaware River watershed.  This means that the 30% goal could easily be surpassed if planting was ONLY focused along the River watershed.

Just this past April, 2012, Philadelphia Horticulture Society President Drew Becher wrote an open letter to South Philadelphia residents urging them to participate in planting trees within their neighborhoods.  In the letter, Becher touches on the fantastic presence of the residents and families within the neighborhoods, the successes of the schools and institutions, stores, and restaurants.  However, the neighborhoods are lacking the tree canopy.  He advises of the significance of bringing the canopy back to the area, addressing the numerous benefits to the community, the environment, and the economy.  “Trees clean the air, reduce storm-water runoff and flooding, lower energy bills, and raise property values.  And, of course, they beautify our blocks and streets,” writes Becher.  The horticulture society plans to hold numerous events this spring and upcoming summer in an effort to get closer to the goal of 30% tree canopy throughout the entire city.  Some of the events include outings with the Philadelphia Phillies, as well as tree giveaways and free tree plantings throughout South Philadelphia (all of these events are posted at plantonemillion.org).

Another organization that is starting to draw a lot of attention to the cause is TreePhilly.  The initiative is led by the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and has a goal of directly engaging all Philadelphians in improving their local communities by planting and maintaining trees while enabling others to do the same.  TreePhilly is actively creating new programming, pursuing partnerships, and supporting existing planting activities in order to get more trees in the ground and build our City’s canopy. (TreePhilly.org)  The organization takes an “imagine life without trees” approach to promoting their initiative as well as too discusses the many benefits of the trees being implemented within the communities, including reducing flooding and saving money on energy costs.  Much like the PHS, the organization is also actively searching for planting opportunities on public or private lands, recreation centers, libraries, schools, fire and police stations, and any other opportunities that may arise.  Also, they offer FREE services to plant yard trees in yards or along the pavements out front of homes.  There are no gimmicks or anything that the communities need to pay for, the planting and maintenance services are provided for free by the organizations, all it takes is one or two locales to provide the space for the planting of the trees.

While most of my information is focused on South Philadelphia (since I currently reside down here in the East Passyunk neighborhood) it does not mean that it leaves the rest of Philadelphia communities out of the goals.  I hope that with the research provided and the links below, that I may be able to reach a few more people with the intentions of the PHS, TreePhilly, and the numerous other groups currently helping the city slowly progress to the 30%+ goal of tree canopy throughout the city of Philadelphia.  So, what are you waiting for?  Become involved and let’s help Philadelphia achieve its 30% goal.

 

References made to the treephilly.org website as well as the following:

April 12, 2012 South Philly Review Letter to the Editor: A Green Future for South Philly        -letter written by PHS President Drew Becher

Holt, Shan. “Open Space Adventures in William Penn’s Greene Countrie Town.” American Historical Association.  Dec. 2005 <http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2005/0512/supplement/0512ann11.cfm&gt;

Petrucci, Joe. “TreePhilly: Why A 30 Percent Tree Canopy in Philadelphia Matters.” Flying Kite. 20 Mar. 2012  <http://www.flyingkitemedia.com/features/treephilly0320.aspx&gt;

University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab on the Urban Tree Canopies of Philadelphia   -Completed May 18, 2011

Watershed Forestry Resource Guide.  Accessed 01 May. 2012. <http://www.forestsforwatersheds.org/urban-tree-canopy/&gt;

Zalot, Morgan. “Greening Philadelphia Tree by Tree.” PHLMetropolis. 12 Jul. 2010 <http://www.phlmetropolis.com/2010/07/greening-philadelphia-tree-by-tree.php&gt;

Just Thought I’d Share These Few Remaining Images…

As I walked around South Philadelphia and City Hall, I noticed that numerous trees were wrapped up in lights, or were planted above ground in tiny planters, and it just made me wonder exactly why this was done.  Maybe individuals are uneducated about the needs of the various trees, most importantly spacial needs.  I watched as I walked past tree after tree with little to NO room to expand or grow, acknowledged the fact that numerous trunks were displaying peeling bark…on trees where this isn’t a typical characteristic.  I just figured I would show these remaining images just because I felt they should be seen and recognized that even though they may be beautiful for the time being, the conditions they are being presented in are slowly killing them.  I find this a little disheartening to tell you the truth….please feel free to comment or generate a discussion…Thank you for checking out my journal!

-JoeGal

Traveling East Along Chestnut Street from 15th to 17th street…

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve decided to split my exploration of Chestnut street into two sections: West of 15th and East of 15th.  I have documented a few tree species from each side.  Here are the final three trees, traveling East on Chestnut:

Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

It was great seeing this pair of trees as I turned East onto Chestnut street, because I immediately knew what they were due in part to my research on them during our winter class!  The Golden Rain Tree is a medium sized deciduous tree that can reach 30’-40’ in height.  The width of the tree is typically equal to or slightly greater than its height.  It usually is rounded in shape, with its branching beginning upright and spreading to irregular as it matures.  They are easily recognizable in the spring and early summer as they are adorned with bright yellow flowers that are found on 10”-15” long panicles.  The flowers themselves are rather small at roughly ½”.  The trees also have little papery, triangular capsules that appear over the summer and autumn months.  The twigs are stout and have a reddish brown color, with leaves situated in an alternate fashion.  The leaves are shield-shaped and a nice green color during the spring and summer months.  The bark is easily recognizable, as it is silvery gray in color but has shallow, reddish brown, vertical furrows which accentuate the bark.  It is tolerant of intense climatic changes, pollution, and urban conditions, however is mostly used as an ornamental tree.  These trees have been planted in raised circular containers which bring attention to them, but will likely lead to girdled roots and require them to be transplanted.

English Oak (Quercus robur)

The English oak is native to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and is hardy to zone 5, again, a non-native species to the U.S.  This species of the oak is a large, deciduous shade tree which can reach to a max height of 50’-70’.  They develop rounded, broad crowns, with branching that is upright and spreading.  While younger trees are typically pyramidal or have an ovate shape, more mature trees have irregular branching patterns which create the spreading effect.  In the spring and summer months, they feature alternate leaf arrangements, with relatively small leaves for an oak, ranging from 2”-5” in length.  The base of the leaves is an odd ear-shape, and during the autumn months, the leaves either drop as green leaves, or turn brown and last into the winter.  They aren’t very interesting trees in the fall.  They have small yet elongated acorns and they mature each season, in one season.  The bark features the typical furrows and ridges that adorn all of the species of oak in the city.  They are great shade trees; however, they too need room to develop.  While soil pH is not really critical, they prefer moist, fertile, and well-drained soil.  They are not the greatest trees for the city, and twigs and branches suffer during winter months.  But, they have been chosen to adorn the continuation of my travel along Chestnut…and by the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society…?    

Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)

Now, THESE oak trees make more sense in the city!  They are native to the eastern United States and are hardy to zone 4.  They are medium sized, deciduous trees and stand with an upright, oval crown.  They grow roughly as tall as they do wide, both being roughly 50’-60’.  The branches feature an alternate leaf arrangement with an obovate leaf shape.  They are 4”-8” in length and are lobed and rounded.  There are white hairs on the undersides of the leaves, which help to identify them.  The flowers are monoecious, and bloom in the early summer months.  In autumn, the leaves change to a copper and red color.  The lower branches droop in an odd fashion, with yellowish brown stems coming from them.  The bark itself is deeply furrowed and ridged and sometimes can be very flaky.  The trees are very drought tolerant, and are easily transplantable from a container.  They like swampy conditions, but can flourish in city conditions.  They are great shade trees, specimen trees and are great along streets.  However they are very prone to numerous bugs which can become a problem with these trees being planted in close approximation to one another. 

And thus ends my tree documentations around the South Philadelphia location and around City Hall.  I will have one last posting to just display some other interesting images taken along the way, of trees I was not easily able to identify, however found their current conditions rather interesting…stay tuned…

-JoeGal     

 

Traveling West Along Chestnut Street from 15th to Broad street…

I’ve decided to split my exploration of Chestnut street into two sections: West of 15th and East of 15th.  I have documented a few tree species from each side.  Here are the first two trees, traveling West on Chestnut from 15th:

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)

The Pin Oak tree species is hardy to zone 4 and is found primarily in the northeastern and north-central United States.  The tree is a large, deciduous tree which can grow to 75’ tall and 40’ wide at its max width.  The trees are pyramidal in shape when they are young and become an oval, tear-like shape as they get older.  They have a unique branding pattern, with lower and middle branches pendulous and horizontal, while the upper branches are upright and spreading.  Their canopies are very dense and full of twigs.  In the summer, their alternate leaf arrangements feature a shiny green color with sharply pointed lobes adorning them.  The leaves grow anywhere from 3”-6” in length and are fine textured.  In the autumn months, the leaves turn to a red and bronze color.  However, some urban trees can become brown or tan and are not as interesting.  The twigs also feature acorns that show themselves in the summer and fall months.  The main trunk of the tree has very noticeable shallow ridges and furrows and the color is gray brown, with smoother bark on the higher up, medium sized branches, with greenish brown stems coming from them.  The trees are easily transplanted and great shade trees.  They are some of the fastest growing of the oak species, however they need adequate room to successfully develop and aren’t really the best suited for city limitations.  Interestingly enough, here they are, adorning the sides of Chestnut Street…with barely any room to develop…   

Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima)

Another interesting find here in the city was the Sawtooth Oak.  This type of Oak is native to Japan, China, Korea, and the Himilayas, and is hardy to Zone 6.  Like most oaks, the trees reach to a height of 40’-60’ tall, with a dense, rounded crown that is rather wide-spread.  The trees have a moderate growth rate.  The leaves are laid out alternately, and are simple, deciduous leaves in an oblong shape.  They grow to be 4”-7” in length and up to 3” wide.  They have serrated leaf margins, with bristle-like teeth on the serrations (see the images below).  The leaves are a dark, glossy green color in the summer and change to a brownish-yellow color during autumn.  The flowers are monoecious, and begin blooming in May.  During the autumn months, they fall to the ground and can become rather messy, creating interesting conditions along roadways within the city.  The bark is ridged and furrowed, and is a light brown color, with grayish twigs coming from it.  The trees are easily transplanted and are great city trees for the shade they provide as well as their ability to adapt to various conditions.  However, they do prefer well-drained soil, which can become a problem in urban conditions.

  

    

to be continued…

-JoeGal

Having Returned to City Hall, I decided to head South on 15th Street…

I began my travels by making a loop, going down Market Street to 17th, turning North towards JFK Boulevard, proceeded back West on the boulevard to City Hall, and began walking south on 15th.  After crossing back over Market Street, I found myself staring at a strip of Honey Locust trees situated closely to the street:

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

The Honey locust tree is mostly found in the moist soils of river valleys, east of South Dakota.  It is primarily native to central North America.  The trees can reach a height of 60’-80’ with some growing as high as 100’ in height.  The leaves are pinnately compound on the more mature trees, but bipinnately compound on newly planted, younger trees.  They are relatively small, growing 1”-2” in size and change from a bright green color in the spring to a yellow coloring in the fall.The trees feature flat legume pods that mature during the early fall months.  An easy way to identify the trees is via the thorns which grow out of their branches.  The thorns can grow up to 10 cm in length, and can be single or branched into various points.  The more mature the tree is the more brittle and tough the thorns become.  They are considered to be popular ornamental plants, which is why they are found throughout the city, as they adapt and thrive greatly in poor site conditions.  They greatly tolerate urban conditions, including compacted soils, salts from the roads, and climactic changes.  These trees align 15th street south of City Hall and provide shade for the numerous street cars and vendors that set up everyday! 

My journey next takes me down Chestnut Street in both directions; each of which will be displayed in the next two entries, stay tuned!

-JoeGal

Continuing My Travels East on JFK Boulevard towards City Hall…

My journey took me along Market to 17th street.  I decided to proceed north up 17th to JFK boulevard.  At the interesection I was surprised to find some American Hornbeam trees lining the street, following a grouping of American Holly trees.  Here’s what I mean:

American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)

The American Hornbeam tree is native to Canada, down through Texas and across to Florida.  It is a multi-stemmed, deciduous tree that can grow 20′-30′ tall and as wide or even wider as its height.  The tree has an alternate leaf arrangement, with oblong-shaped leaves that can be 2.5″ long and 5″ wide.  They have a dark green color to them, with a doubly-serrated margin.  Interestingly, in the Fall they can be yellow, orange, or red, with variability in color within one tree.  The tree is monoecious meaning it includes male and female flowers on the same plant.  It is easy to identify it by its bark in the winter, which is smooth in texture, gray in color, and has slender, dark brown, and slightly hairy stems.  The base is fluted and the bark can have vertical ridges that are visible.  It is odd because the tree does not transplant very well, but is a great shade tree and park tree.  Unfortunately as you can see, these trees have been engulfed by Christmas lights, to bring attraction out front of the Comcast Building’s cafe. 

American Holly Tree (Ilex opaca)

These American Holly Trees are situated along JFK Boulevard between 16th and 17th streets.  The Holly tree is native to the eastern and southern United States, and is hardy to zone 5.  The trees themselves can reach upwards of 50′ in the United States, however are most commonly found in the 15′ – 30′ range.  They are very pyramidal when they are young, with some branches reaching the ground.  As the trees mature, the branching becomes more horizontal.  The trees feature alternate leaves that range from 1.5″ – 3.5″ in length.  The leaves have short spines and are a dark green color.  Two ways to identify the trees are there small red fruits attaches to stalks on the branches, and the leaves themselves.  The bark is a gray-brown color that remains smooth until the tree has reached full maturity.  As you can see, they greatly beautify the parkway!  

London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia)

Doing a little bit of research, I found that the London Plane tree is a result of a cross between Platanus orientalis and occidentalis.  The trees themselves can grow to be 70′-80′ tall and their spreads generally will match their heights.  The shape of the tree is usually rounded, with branching upright and spreading.  However, in their younger ages, the shape of the tree is more pyramidal.  The leaves are alternate and simple and can be 6″-7″ long and up to 10″ wide on older trees.  The shape is very similar to the maple.  The most easily identifiable feature of the tree however is undoubtedly its bark.  It is very ornamentally attractive, with the bark exfoliating in plates.  This reveals an inner yellow color bark, creating a beautiful composition of color.  It is a great city tree, pollution tolerant, easily transplantable, and very adaptable to any conditions.  This tree in the city is provided with plenty of space for its roots to maneuver, however is limited so girdling may be occurring with a tree of this size.  Overall, it is a beautiful tree for the city.

 

to be continued…

-JoeGal

Taking A Stroll Down Market Street, West of City Hall…

Following my walk around the Passayunk area, I decided to take the sub up towards the City Hall stop, and focus on the general area surrounding the Temple Center City campus.  The next few posts are going to briefly discuss what I found!

Red Maple (Acer rubum)

The Red Maple is very common in the city, as it is easily transplantable and can tolerate flooding, wet soils, pollution and is very adaptable to climatic changes.  It is very prominently used in parks or campuses and is a great street tree.  The maple has a large geographic range and is hardy to Zone 3 which covers a majority of the East coast.  The trees are pyramidal when they are young and develop a spread out, rounded outline as they mature.  The trees are usually found in the 40’-70’ range but can grow to over 100’ tall in the right conditions.  The leaves align the branches in an opposite fashion and in a green color during the summer months but become red during fall foliage.  In the fall, the samaras become present and grow to roughly 1” in length.  The red maples are easily recognizable aside from their leaves, by their bark.  Older Maples feature the scaly gray-brown bark which contrasts greatly with the leaves of the tree.  The images below show the new maples lining Market street just west of City Hall.     They are oddly enough planted in 3′ x 3′ raised planting beds…     

 

Callery Pear (Pyrus calleyrana)

An interesting thing to state here is that the Callery Pear is native to Korea and Japan.  It is odd to find a tree of this specie graciously planted just down Market Street from City Hall.  These trees can grow to about 30′-40′ tall and roughly 1/3 as wide.  They have a very fast growth rate for a medium-sized tree.  You can identify them with their alternating, simple, ovate leaves with crenate margins.  The leaves themselves are generally leathery in texture.  They are held on a long petiole and are roughly 2″-3″ long.  The trees do feature a round pome fruit which is covered in russet dots.  It is not very ornamentally significant but can help identify the tree in summer and Fall months.  The bark is a light brown/ light gray color which develops recognizable lenticels with its age.  It is a very easily transplanted tree during dormant seasons and is very adaptable to different conditions, which makes it suitable for city life!

to be continued…

-JoeGal

 

Wandering Around the South Philadelphia ‘Tree Desert’ part II

American Plum (Prunus Americana)

I found this tree on the 1900 block of Jessup St. in Passyunk.  The American Plum is native to eastern North America and is hardy to zone 3.  They can grow anywhere from 12’-25’ tall and up to 20’ wide, with an irregular, rounded crown.  Some easily noticeable ways to determine them are from alternate leaf arrangement, featuring oval shaped leaves.  The leaves grow to a max of 3” and are green for the summer months, yellowing in the fall.  Today, being in the winter months, it is recognizable by its bark, which can feature 2”-3” thorns along with very low branches.  Down here in South Philadelphia, there is not much room for trees to grow, which is why some people refer to it as the “tree desert”.  You can see in the images provided, that this recently planted tree, does not have a ton of space to grow, as the stone-covered hole is roughly 3′ by 3′ in size.    

Okame Cherry (Prunus x incam)

Here we have the Okame Cherry, which research shows is a hybrid between two species, the Prunus incisa and the Prunus campanulata, hence the name incam.  This tree is located on the 1800 block of South 12th Street.  The tree itself only grows to be 15′-25′ in height and can get up to 20′ wide.  It features and upright, rounded crown with a moderate growth rate over the years.  The branches feature an alternate leaf arrangement, with the leaves being an oval shape, growing 1″-2″ long.  Unfortunately, their beauty comes out greatly during the summer and fall months, which cannot be seen as of yet.  The flowers go from a pink color in the spring and summer months to an orange and yellow color in the fall.  The bark is highly recognizable because of the horizontal lenticels as well as the reddish-bronze color of the bark.  As you can see, this guy has just recently been planted, so the two wooden stakes are still in to help balance out the tree during its growth.  They should be removed within a year.

This concluded my walk around the few blocks close to my home.  There will be another post very soon with images of trees I could not identify primarily because they were either too new to the neighborhood…or they were being hidden by the christmas lights still constricting them…stay tuned!

-JoeGal

Wandering Around the South Philadelphia ‘Tree Desert’

I decided to begin my journal entries by walking around the blocks close my house on 11th street, down here in South Philadelphia.  I was amazed at the variety of trees actually being planted down here in the ‘Tree Desert’.  So, I decided to document a few with some background information about how to tell what they are:

 

Amur Chokeberry (Prunus maackii)

I found it rather interesting to stumble upon an Amur Chokeberry while walking around my house down here in the tree desert.  I found this beautiful tree, recently planted on the next street up from mine, on Jessup St. down here in South Philadelphia.  The tree is native to Manchuria and Korea and is hardy to zone 3.  The tree itself can grow to be 30′-40′ tall and 25′ -35′ wide.  It features a vase-shaped crown, that is very dense during the spring and summer months.  It has an alternate leaf arrangement, with ovate shaped leaves that can grow 2″-4″ long.  It is easy to tell the bark, because it is an attractive reddish-brown color, that is very shiny.  What is also interesting is the pointed terminal buds of the tree.  Lastly, I find it interesting that girdling roots is a liability of the tree, and unfortunately down here in the desert, it seems to be what will happen within the next few years.

Higan Cherry (Prunus subhirtella)

This was an interesting tree to find as well along 12th Street, as it is not native to North America.  The tree can grow to be 25′-35′ in height and width.  It sometimes features multiple trunks and a primarily rounded canopy.  The older the trees get, the wider the canopy will grow, in comparison to the height.  The trees become covered with double pink flowers prior to the spring beginning, and can also appear in the autumn months as well depending on the temperatures.  The leaves are dark green in color and can range from 1″ – 4″ long.  The leaves turn yellow in the fall and then bronze before dropping, which you can see in the photos.  The bark also features the very prominent lenticels.  They are very popular trees for highway medians, which seems to make sense as to why they would be planted along the roadways here in the tree desert. 

to be continued…

-JoeGal

RE-Emerging from the Depths of Architecture School!

Well, it has been awhile since I have written a post, the Fall semester was rather hectic as I was working on studio, a design competition, working 24 hours a week, plus two other classes…it was…well…hectic!

But I am back! And so in this post I am writing about a few trees I walk by on a daily basis during my journey from the Tasker-Morris sub stop in South Philadelphia, to my apartment in Passyunk. These descriptions are in part with a course I took this winter break at TUCC (Temple University’s Center City campus) entitled ‘Trees in the Urban Landscape’ with professor Bess Welborn.  A requirement of the course was to compile a journal of trees that we had identified over the week, locate those specific trees within the city and explain how one could identify them.  And so, I have done just that, the following few blogs will relate to this project, with some images to show locations of the selected species as well as how I have been able to identify them!  Hope you enjoy!