Category Archives: Trees

Benefits of Trees

Trees are good for nature (of course, they are part of nature) and also for people (who, whether they realize it or not, depend on nature).

West Chester Urban Forester Mike Dunn is heading up a tree-planting program this fall. As a public education measure, our allies in the West Chester Tree Team will be helping by distributing a 2-page brochure of the International Society of Arboriculture, entitled “Benefits of Trees.” (Download it from the Borough site here.)

The brochure sets forth:

• Social Benefits: Trees in our communities make us feel at home, calm, personally connected to them (and nature)….

• Communal Benefits: privacy, views, glare reduction….

• Environmental Benefits: heat moderation, air quality improvement, runoff absorption, wildlife habitats, wind reduction, reduction of pollutants….

• Economic Benefits: increased property values, reduction of heating and cooling costs, less need for storm water control facilities….

• Trees Require an Investment: of course, maintenance is needed to acquire the benefits….

For educational info from ISA, see Trees Are Good. According to the site’s Tree Benefit Calculator, one large white oak tree in our area confers benefits of about $500 a year!

See also our post “Value and Savings from 800 street trees, West Chester Borough” here.

Don’t work on West Chester street trees without permission!

Under West Chester Borough’s recent tree ordinance, any work performed on a street tree in the right of way must have prior borough approval which involves filling out this form and emailing to Mike Dunn.

Please spread the word and make sure your neighbors are aware, and let us know if you see any damaging tree work being performed (as in this photo; fortunately the others in the row were saved by quick action). Fall is the time for pruning and cleaning up the tree canopy, so please spread the word.

Whenever you hire someone to do tree work, be sure they are properly licensed and insured. Otherwise there can be big trouble.

Wherever a tree is, it should not be “topped.” Topping is harmfully cutting off branches and leaving stubs that are not strong enough to support the new branches that would be needed to round out and nourish the tree. A topped tree ultimately is misshapen, needs more trimming, and even dies. Download more about why not to top trees here. Why hire an arborist for your tree work? Download here.

What is a street tree? It is usually between a sidewalk and a street, or where a sidewalk would be if there were one, but it really depends on land titles, and a street tree can be as much as 10 or 12 feet from the edge of the street. So in case of doubt check with West Chester Urban Forester Mike Dunn.

They’re Back! The Spotted Lanternfly Returns

Advice from WCU Office of sustainability Summer Bulletin No. 4: June 22, 2020

If you’ve spent any time outside in the past few weeks, you’ve likely spotted the above pictured Spotted Lanternfly Instar, or early stage nymph. The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species spreading throughout the state of Pennsylvania, negatively affecting agricultural crops and hardwood trees. In an effort to decrease their numbers, the following steps are recommended:

• Remove host vegetation (tree of heaven, oriental bittersweet, grape, etc.) but realize that when they are in their early instar stages, they are more generalist, and can be found feeding on a variety of plants, including ornamentals.

• Smash them if you can catch them – they’re very quick and jumpy at this early instar stage, so this is difficult. For these early instars, pillow cases can be placed around full branches and vines, closed around the limb, then after shaking to release the bugs from the limbs, smash in the pillowcase.

• Put up Web-Cote brand sticky bands with wire mesh to avoid birds and small mammals being caught (pictured here), or

BugBarrier bands , or

• Circle trunk traps (make your own)