Tapping into trees as environmental protectors

The importance of trees for environmental protection has prompted upcoming planting initiatives by two area conservancies.

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Outside the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, the Brandywine Creek provides a valuable source of drinking water for the area.

More than 30 shovel-wielding staff members of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art will spend Tuesday morning, Oct, 27, planting 600 native hardwood tree saplings along Harvey Run, an impaired tributary to the Brandywine located on the organization’s Chadds Ford campus.

During this planting, the conservancy will plant the 35,000th tree in its major multi-year reforestation initiative, an effort to plant 50,000 trees in the Brandywine Watershed by the conservancy’s 50th anniversary in 2017.

“Once established, these trees will contribute to the health of this watershed, which provides drinking water to more than 500,000 people in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware,” Sherri Evans-Stanton, director of the Brandywine Conservancy, said in a press release.

On Oct. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon, the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County is seeking volunteers to help plant trees along a riparian corridor at the future Chandler Mill Nature Preserve in Kennett Township.

Duties will include the planting of potted native trees and shrubs, staking and caging. Volunteers, who should bring work gloves, water, and snacks, are asked to RSVP by emailing landmanager@tlcforscc.org.

According to the Brandywine Conservancy, forested riparian buffers – areas of trees, shrubs and grasses that form buffer zones along the banks of rivers and streams – reduce water pollution, provide clean drinking water sources, preserve valuable ecosystem services, add economic benefits, and beautify the natural landscape of communities and watersheds.

The conservancy targets land immediately adjacent to streams (riparian areas) and steep slopes for reforestation projects because these areas are especially vulnerable to erosion.

The trees are all native to the region, and selected for the soil conditions, so they will thrive. Each tree is encased in a protective tube that shelters the sapling from damage by deer, as well as voles (meadow mice), which can gnaw tree bark a few inches above and below ground level. The tubes are removed when the tree has a caliper or trunk width of 2-2½” at the top of the tube, the release said.

 

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