1st Annual Lower Gwynedd Township Tree Giveaway
A century ago, the tree canopy (defined as the layer of leaves, branches, and stems that provide tree coverage of the ground when viewed from above) of the world was adequate to keep up with the formation of CO₂. Now, because of fewer trees and more carbon emissions (CO₂ mostly) the global tree population can handle less than 1/4 of today’s CO₂ in the atmosphere.
- Trees are “natural air conditioners” reducing residential energy costs.
Trees help clean the air by producing oxygen and reducing smog, thus enhancing a community’s respiratory health.
- Trees provide economic benefits to communities. Homes landscaped with trees sell more quickly and are worth 5% to 15% more than homes without trees.
Tree loss is a concern shared by governments and non governmental organizations around the world. In the US one of the leading advocates for tree planting and protection is the Arbor Day Foundation. Now in its 50th year, the Foundation works with municipalities to advance the cause of tree growth and health. The Foundation conducts its work through, among other things, the Tree City USA program. Tree City USA provides advice and training to municipalities throughout the US.
Lower Gwynedd Township is committed to playing its part in increasing the population of trees. As of 2012 LGT had about 50% of its 9.3 square mile area covered by its tree canopy. It is likely that the tree canopy has declined since 2012 due to additional clear cut development and the decline of native ash trees due to the invasive and destructive emerald ash borer.
The Lower Gwynedd Township can increase the tree canopy in two ways: add more trees to township-owned property or add more trees to private property. The Lower Gwynedd Township public property is mostly forest and parks and there is not much that can be added there. In contrast there is a great deal of private property that has open space that can accommodate many trees.
The Township Board of Supervisors is asking you to help by planting a tree on your property within Lower Gwynedd. In observance of Arbor Day, Lower Gwynedd Township is supplying 200 Lower Gwynedd township property owners with one free tree, per Lower Gwynedd address, on a first-register, first-choice basis.
Some trees will do better in certain areas than other trees, so we, in consultation with local arborists, have obtained a variety of trees to match the conditions within the township. We have selected 8 species, four flowering and four shade, so we will have around 25 trees in each category.
The trees are listed below, with the most important characteristics of size, water needs and sunlight requirements. More details about all trees, including noteworthy characteristics, uses, more details on ideal growing conditions and culture, and photos, can be found here. Exact species and their sizes may change based on availability, but we will do our best to ensure you get your preferred tree. The registration form also has a place for you to indicate any other species that could work for you, if your first choice ends up not being available.
UPDATE: At this time all 200 trees that we will be giving out have been accounted for with pre-registrations. If you would like to be added to a waitlist in case any trees are not picked up or there are cancellations, and also to receive first notification of our giveaway next year, please complete this form.
How to get your tree:
- As soon as you have decided on a tree from our list go to the pre-registration form to choose your tree and pickup time on Saturday, October 1st. A limited number of each tree species and time slots between 8am - noon are available. If a tree is no longer listed all trees of that type have been requested, and if a time slot is no longer listed it is full. We are requesting everyone chose a half hour time slot to prevent a long line of traffic on Bethlehem Pike and to prevent long waits to pick up your tree. Trees and planting supplies (a bag of mulch and deer guard materials) will be picked up Township Administration Building, 1130 North Bethlehem Pike Spring House, PA 19477. The time slot you select for your tree pickup will have no bearing on the likelihood of your obtaining a tree since you are also reserving a specific tree type in addition to a time slot.
- After filling out the pre-registration form you will receive a confirmation email with the information you filled out on the form. Save this email for future reference, and bring it with you (printed or on your phone) when you come to pick up your tree. If you do not get a confirmation email please first check your spam folder, and then email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that your registration form was received.
- On Saturday October 1, you should drive to the Administration Building parking lot during your selected time slot in a vehicle that is large enough to hold a potted tree up to 5’ tall. Bring your confirmation email with you. We will be giving out trees rain or shine. We will load your tree in your vehicle (bring your own tarp or other material to protect the inside of your vehicle, if you would like). We will give you a page with planting and deer guard installation instructions, a bag of mulch to help your tree grow and keep lawnmowers at a distance, and plastic deer-resistant tree trunk protectors.
- If you will be picking up a tree on October 1st, planting instructions can be found here, and information about installing the deer protection is here.
If you do not get a confirmation email or have any questions about the tree giveaway please email email@example.com.