Tree Tenders, a new program being developed in the Township, is organized by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and supported by TreeVitalize, a state-funded program. The Horticultural Society runs an intensive 9-hour training program for Tree Tenders. Go to http://treetenders.haverfordciviccouncil.org/to visit the Tree Tenders website.
A group of at least three trained volunteers can organize a tree tenders group, which gives them access to reduced-cost bare-root trees twice a year (March and November), as well as a tree planting tool kit. The bare-root trees cost $35 each, and are generally about 6-8 feet tall. Usually 15-20 varieties of varying sizes are offered. Some are small, flowering trees, and others are large shade trees such as oaks, maples, sycamores, etc.
By 2008, nearly 30 Township residents had completed the training, although no formal Tree Tenders groups had been formed (thus no trees received or planted), and no efforts at coordination were being made. Jeanne Angell and Mary Courtney began collecting the names of interested volunteers, and now have 90 people on the mailing list. They have also held two organizational meetings and have encouraged additional residents to go through the training program, with the goal of forming other small Tree Tenders groups, each focusing on planting trees in one geographic area of the Township (in one neighborhood or ward, or specific public spaces such as the Grange Estate or at Haverford Reserve). Thus, as tree tenders groups are formed, the leaders of each group would work together as a committee to coordinate our work.
The group also hopes to work with the Shade Tree Commission on other projects, such as educational programs, Arbor Day celebrations, or conducting a survey of trees in the Township.
In addition, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has agreed to host a training program in Haverford Township on the evenings of April 13, 20 & 27, 2010 at the Llanerch Presbyterian Church. Additional dates are available in other locations. Interested residents should sign up on the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society website www.pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/phlgreen/tree-training.html or call (215) 988-8844.
If you would like to get involved (going through the training or helping on planting days, etc.), or have questions about the Tree Tenders Program, please feel free to contact Jeanne Angell at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (610) 446-8107.