Drone Video of the Big Old 2 ST Tree – Test flights

Format Video

These are our first test flights at recording the Big Old 2 St Tree with a drone.  I’m still learning how to fly the drone and learned a few tricks after these first test flights.

view from above the big old tree
view from above the big old tree June 4, 2017 – screen shot image from one of the videos

The tree is so tall I worry about losing the video feed.

Here is our 2nd test flight.  In a future flight I’m going to try to get the drone to rotate once it is at the tree height so we can see what the tree sees.

 

Maintaining A Big Old Tree 2010

Maintaining a big Old tree

We had our arborist come out to inspect our for health and safety, as we do just about every year, since 2010.  They examine the tree and this year we got another good grade.  Later, they will come out and give it some vitamins to keep it strong.  In Philadelphia it is difficult to find an arborist, so we would like to Thank www.Giroudtree.com for coming out every year since 2010 to check on our tree.

We meant to create a post a year ago on the tree trimming we did in 2010.  They did a pretty good job as to the tree has survived a few storms (knock on wood).  They turned our giant bush into a giant tree.  And they did it right.

tree view 200909
tree view from 2009 09. Here we can see the limb hanging down to the wall
clearing out the patio
clearing out the patio
tree trimming with bucket truck
tree trimming with bucket truck 2010
tree climber
tree climber
tree climbers getting ready for tree cable - tree safety is important
tree climbers getting ready for tree cable – tree safety is important
bucket and tree climbers
bucket and tree climbers
tree cable install 2010
tree cable install 2010
Tree post trimming 2010
Tree post trimming 2010

Another view post trimming

Tree post trimming 2010
Tree post trimming 2010

 

 

 

 

Tree and Green Space Haters in Philly

Tree and Green Space Haters in Philly

We got a kick out of the comments on Facebook and other sites regarding our campaign to maintain open space and a 80 year old tree in South Philadelphia.  Some will make you laugh and others will make you go what?  Please help save open space in development projects and sign and share our petition today.

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

Here are some of the best:

Hey Suburbanites, welcome to Philly, land of concrete. If you want trees everywhere, move back to the Culdesac!

Want more trees. Move to Jersey! Worried about oxygen. Get rid of the factories. Car exhaust. Ride a bike.

If you’re stupid enough to live in an urban environment you should have to take a bus to see a tree.

Really?! Wildlife?!!!! Rabid pigeons? Rats? Roaches… Progress

Other comments for or against were items that one could discuss and debate.  We have learned a lot from all sides and perspectives.

The land of concrete one inspired the cartoon.

Hey look we missed a green spot...more concrete please
Hey look we missed a green spot…more concrete please

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

Dating the Tree alongside the Neighborhood

History from 1962 recorded with our Tree

Long before this issue with the tree and the development came along we had found the picture of the tree in a 1962 photo posted by the www.PhillyHistory.org.  Here you can see the tree and even in 1962 it was pretty big and we estimate at least 20 years old.  During our walks around the neighborhood, many older residents have said they remember the tree from when they were kids and they are in their 80’s. Permission was granted by www.PhillyHistory.org to share these images with you.  The picture below can be found at http://www.phillyhistory.org/PhotoArchive/Detail.aspx?assetId=71801

Tree in 1962 on manton and 2nd
Tree in 1962 on Manton and 2nd

Neighbors commented during our petition walk about that they remember swinging on the old tree in the 60’s and landing on old mattresses in the empty lot.  We are hoping to get some stories for another post.

Here are some additional pictures from around the neighborhood in 1962.

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

The Tree Brings Neighbors Out for a Night Out

Neighbors and Friends Out for a Night Out Under the Tree and a Movie

Trees can be amazing neighborhood builders.  Our efforts to discuss development, open space, zoning, trees and development have brought out the neighbors for a night out.  On Saturday, July 23, 2016 about 30 plus neighbors and friends sat with the tree in the background and had Ice Treats and watched the movie The Lorax.

Everyone loved the movie night and we got more signatures from friends and neighbors for the petition.

A special Thanks goes out to the Friends of Jefferson Park (https://www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsofJeffersonSquarePark/) for loaning the equipment and Chris of D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats for stopping by and providing Ice Treats.  It is great when we can support local neighborhood business (https://www.facebook.com/OldWorldIceTreats/)

We learned a lot about holding block parties and getting a permit for the party. We included a link to Philadelphia’s online Block party permitting application

https://secure.phila.gov/Streets/BlockParty/

Some key points is that the weekends are easier to get and cost less than weekdays and that the signature for the permit has to live on the block.  Owning the corner property does not count.  Everyone on the block was great and very supportive of the event and pretty much all signed the petition.  We only missed people if they were not home.  We also learned that even the Friends of the Parks have to get permits for their events.  Go figure that one out!

Why the Lorax?

Well, when we were researching the movie “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, we saw this movie The Lorax and it was a perfect movie.  From Wikiepedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lorax)

The Lorax is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. It chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees against the Once-ler. As in most Dr. Seuss works, most of the creatures mentioned are original to the book.

The book is commonly recognized as a fable concerning the danger corporate greed poses to nature, using the literary element of personification to give life to industry as the Once-ler and the environment as The Lorax.

This was perfect movie for adults and kids showing how greed and over development can easily wipe all the trees off the neighborhood.

Here is a clip link:

If you are interested in playing movies for public consumption there are basically two places to go to and you have to purchase the movie license for the night.

We got the Lorax license to play the movie from Swank.com (http://www.swank.com/)

We are still thinking about the other movie and that can be licensed from Criterion Pictures USA (http://www.criterionpicusa.com/)

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

Tree of heaven – AILANTHUS – the Junk Yard Dog of Trees

Easy to hate, but very easy to Love.

The Ailanthus is a rough tree to kill and is probably why it is considered a weed.  They spread fast.  However, back in the day they were considered ornamental trees. But things change. In New York, this type of tree had for decades been the centerpiece of the sculpture garden at the Noguchi Museum in Queens.  From the article “A Tree That Survived a Sculptor’s Chisel Is Chopped Down” by GLENN COLLINS,MARCH 27, 2008 in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/nyregion/27tree.html)

“It was a survivor, always there,” Ms. Rychlak said of the junkyard dog of a tree. The ailanthus, an invasive species brought to the United States from China, is currently designated a “noxious weed” by the United States Department of Agriculture. Given its offensive odor, it has won such epithets as “stink tree” and “ghetto palm,” thriving despite neglect, water deprivation and even physical abuse.

 

But the Chinese call it Tree of Heaven, and have long found its leaves, bark and wood useful in traditional medicine. And this ailanthus was spared by Noguchi when, in 1975…

“Ailanthus is about survival, and grows where no other tree dares grow, even in polluted soil,” said Mitch Cope, an artist with the collective. He added that the tree “is easy to hate, and just as easy to fall in love with.”

Another article https://trcs.wikispaces.com/A+Tree+That+Survived+a+Sculptor%27s+Chisel+Is+Chopped+Down

I would have to agree with Mitch Cope’s quote, it is easy to hate but it is very easy to fall in love with.

easy to love tree
easy to love tree

As many commentators have said, the tree is a tough one to kill and you have to dig deep into the ground to get the roots.  It is not a little expense to do so especially in such a confined space.  So we say, let it live until it has lived out its life and then we will do it soundly; much like they did at the Noguchi Museum in Queens.  However, we will have to take it to below ground, because the developers would just chop it again.  Plus add to that, the cost of repairing the brick wall and patio work that would have to be done.  This endeavor should not be done just for the sake of doing so. We hope the developer realizes the costs to do this and the choice they make on their own.

The tree’s annual rings revealed its age to be 75. But even as a stump, the Noguchi tree may have the final say. “The ailanthus is well known for regenerating from its roots,” Ms. Dixon said. “If it revives, the original could be here again, as a symbol for the museum.”

tree trunk in small space kissing the neighbors garage
tree trunk in small space kissing the neighbors garage

Please don’t forget to sign and share our petition to save small open spaces in new developments in Philadelphia.
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree
https://www.change.org/p/councilman-mark-squilla-save-old-2-st-tree

The Tree of Heaven Nature’s Gardening Clock

The Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is admittedly a very tricky tree to maintain.  We have been maintaining our for many years now.  I have to say, it loves to create seedlings.  The Tree has a long Philadelphia connection.  From http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/ailalt/all.html

Sprouts from the first tree-of-heaven in North America, planted in Philadelphia’s Bartram Botanical Garden 1784, still existed at the turn of the 21st century

From http://www.ecolandscaping.org/05/invasive-plants/tree-of-heaven-an-exotic-invasive-plant-fact-sheet/

In Philadelphia, tree-of -heaven sparked the interest of amateur and professional horticulturists alike as a desirable and unique shade and ornamental tree for the gardens of larger home and farm landscapes

I have to admit it is a great shade tree and I can understand why people used it in cities where gardens were small and limited.

So why do I call it the gardening clock.  If you get lazy at keeping your garden or yard cleaned and trimmed, this definitely reminds you of your gardening duties.  You will start seeing little sprouts.  I think this might be why people in Europe and America were so fascinated with the tree.  They would see it in gardens in China that were well maintained.  What they did not realize is that, it had to be done.  So the tree became its own promoter because the gardens were so beautiful.

This tree does keep its owner on their toes, but it rewards with shade, filter light and a great wind block.

Tree sprouts when not maintained
Tree sprouts when not maintained

Neighborhood Showing of the Lorax

We are a Go!

for showing the movie The Lorax

Saturday, July 23, 2016 after dark (est. 9pm) with a rain date of Sun 7/24 we are showing the movie The Lorax (© Universal Studios).  We will have petitions for neighbors and visitors to sign in support of the tree.

Location the corner of South 2nd Street and Manton Streets outside along side the tree.

The Lorax © Universal Studios
The Lorax © Universal Studios

The event is free. More info to come

We hope the neighbors get a feeling for what life is like with out trees and then how much they loss if they all get cut down.

Isn’t it amazing as to what a tree can do, to bring a neighborhood together.

Signed the Big Old Tree

Gardening on Small Lots

Gardening on Small Lots is a Great Idea.

Small lots provide many opportunities for families and local communities to enjoy nature and family time.  Our family has been gardening our lots for many years.  Every year we try new things.  In our 15ft 9in x 20 ft corner lot we have set up: two 4ft x 8ft gardens, a number of garden pots and even a crab sandbox for the kids to play in.  Next year we are going to try some vertical gardening.  I’ll bet we save a few hundred dollars a year in veggie savings.

This year we are trying Square Foot Gardening (if you are interested here is a link www.squarefootgardening.com).  It is a neat way of organizing the plants and rotating selections during the season.  We’ll put up more postings of pictures as the plants grow.

As a family, gardening is a great way for the parents and the children to bond.  Everyone gets to participate in the planting and harvests of the veggies.  I think the kids favorites are the strawberries and the tomatoes.  They tend to eat more than they put into the bucket.  The kids also love playing in the sandbox and create little worlds in the sand.  The big dog loves her piece of dirty we set aside.  I think she just loves being along side her family and guard her family.

tomatoes
Fresh Garden Tomatoes

Little gardens also give neighbors a chance to meet and share.  We love sharing some of the pickings with neighbors.  I know our neighbor around the corner likes the peppers we gave him.  He even dropped of a surprise gift of a gardening book for us.  So you know, he always gets his peppers every year.  We also have a teenager in the neighborhood that loves to take pictures of the flowers my wife grows.  She is always welcome to take pictures of the flowers.