FOCP's dedication to Clark Park's trees has "branched" into three areas: planting new trees, pruning existing trees, and securing additional expert opinion on trees that may be hazardous.
Planting: As the master plan develops and the exact location of sidewalks, grading and other improvements is determined, we will be able to draft a planting plan. Until then, FOCP will focus on replacing trees that have died over the past few years in areas that will not be affected by the master plan.
Pruning: We are actively seeking grants to help pay for pruning the park's trees, which receive no regular tree care. The Morris Arboretum estimates pruning the park's trees on a four-year rotation would cost about $13,000 a year. Community Tree Tender volunteers can help us reduce those costs. about becoming a Tree Tender.
Expert opinion. The Morris Arboretum 2001 Assessment (see below) identified 17 trees as being hazardous and in need of removal. FOCP hired Bartlett Tree Experts to do detailed "hazard evaluation" of 25 trees, and will share those results with the Department of Recreation. To date, 7 trees have been found to be very hazardous and in need of removal; 5 additional trees received negative evaluations; and FOCP is seeking further expert opinion on 4 more trees. Final decision on removal is made by the Department of Recreation or Fairmount Park Commission. No FOCP monies are used to remove trees.
For a copy of the Bartlett Tree Report, send your request, along with a 9x12 self-addressed envelope with 57 cents postage, to: FOCP, PO Box 31908, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
2001 Clark Park Tree Assessment
The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania did an extensive survey of Clark Park's trees during summer 2001.
The report identified each of the park's 306 trees by precise location, species, size, estimated life expectancy, and other attributes.
Over 75% of the park's trees are in good health (expected to live at least 15 more years). The report documented 41 different species of trees in the park, although 55% are of just one species: London plane (often called sycamore). Because of that concentration, arborist William Graham said, the park would be vulnerable to major losses if a disease struck the London planes, and he recommended diversifying the types of trees planted in the future.
The $8,500 survey was funded by the University City District.