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Posted on: August 10, 2021

Borough Tree Advisory Commission Invests in Improved Management to Increase Realized Benefits

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Phoenixville Recognizes Value of Urban Forest by Investing in Improved Management to Increase Realized Benefits



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Trees can significantly reduce the impact of urban heat islands. This shaded section (above left) of the Presidential Neighborhood in Phoenixville was more than 10 degrees cooler than the non-treed section (above right) on a hot, summer day. 

New Borough Tree Inventory Started

Residents might begin to notice brass tags on street and park trees in the Borough. There is no cause for alarm as this is part of Phoenixville’s effort to update the inventory of Borough-managed trees. The comprehensive tree inventory performed by Brandywine Urban Forest Consulting requires tagging of each tree within the right-of-way and in Borough parks. The tree tagging methods used are pursuant to the International Society of Arboriculture Best Management Practices and allow for tree growth. Tree tags enable residents, Borough staff, and tree managers to quickly identify individual trees without confusion. The resulting tree database will be used to maintain and improve the benefits provided by the Borough’s regulated trees.

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Brass tree tag installed on Borough street tree

Gator Bags for Newly Planted Trees

Recently the Borough and the Tree Advisory Commission implemented 90 “Tree Gators” to aid in the effort of keeping newly planted trees properly irrigated. The best method is to run a hose at a very slow drip rate for an hour or two to make sure the entire root ball is properly saturated. Unfortunately, street trees cannot all be effectively managed this way as it requires hose access and the capacity of personnel to manage the lines. The solution to this is using a device called a “Tree Gator” which is a large green bag that sits at the base of the tree. Borough staff can use their watering truck to quickly fill these bags and move to the next tree. The bag will slowly release water over the course of 5 to 9 hours which negates the large amount of water runoff commonly seen with other methods of irrigation. By developing a watering schedule, trees can receive the appropriate volume of water every week and staff can save time by just filling a bag in mere minutes.

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Above: Gator bag installed on newly planted street tree

Volunteer Leader / Block Captains Request

TAC is very interested in connecting with people in Phoenixville who wish to be more involved in the care and oversight of the trees in our community and the growth of our town’s tree canopy.  To this end, we are inviting interested residents to become Block Captains* and/or Volunteers. Block Captains would specifically oversee the watering and pruning of trees on your block (with training from TAC). Other roles include:

•             Act as the eyes and ears for the trees by communicating issues to the TAC.

•             Educate the community and encourage neighbors to join in on the care of the trees.

•             Identify and make recommendations for new planting locations throughout the town.

•             Help the TAC at community events by staffing a table or providing handouts.

 

To volunteer or learn more Borough residents can email us at: tac@phoenixville.org.

Current Roles

The Tree Advisory Commission is made up of five Borough residents: Jonathan Rizzo (Chair), Mary Foote (Community Outreach), Randy Morin (Secretary), Paul Kusko, and Travis Shaw.

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