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.
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 signand shareour petition today.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.