Tree Tenders

Increasing our Tree Canopy

We’ve teamed up with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) to conduct two volunteer-driven street tree planting events annually, scheduled for April and November.

PHS takes care of securing tree approvals, permits, excavation of sidewalk pits, and the procurement of trees from the nursery. Meanwhile, our dedicated EPX Tree Tenders team oversees the logistics and is readily available to address any inquiries you might have regarding the street tree planting program.

The PHS Tree Tenders initiative boasts a rich history, serving as a potent vehicle to bolster neighborhood health and community cohesion. Over the years, PHS has provided training to over 5,000 individuals who have, in turn, led volunteers in planting an impressive 1,300 trees each year.

Given our neighborhood’s inclusion in the list of priority planting areas in Philadelphia, EPX is fully committed to expanding the tree canopy in our community. If you’re interested in joining us for the next tree planting event in your neighborhood, we warmly invite your participation. Reach out to us at for more information and to get involved.

Committee Chairs

Victoria Lenoci

Victoria is the Clean and Green Co-chair for EPX, and has been a South Philly resident since 2007. Victoria and her partner bought a home in EPX in 2009, and joined Tree Tenders in order to support urban greening and to plant a tree in front of their new home. Victoria works for the City of Philadelphia and enjoys traveling, playing sports, and snuggling with her cat, Chewbacca.

Sara Nye

Sara has lived in South Philly since 2007. She became an EPX Tree Tender Co-Chair in Spring 2018. Bringing more trees to the neighborhood is one of her favorite ways of connecting with the community. She was a professional dancer for years, currently works in real estate marketing, and paints here and there.

Ben Oas

Ben moved to Philadelphia from Missouri in 2017 and eventually found his way to EPX after spending a few years trying to figure out the best neighborhoods. He got involved with tree tenders as a volunteer when he realized that he could not apply for a tree while renting, so he decide to help plant instead. He has a white cat named Betty that likes to hang out in the back alleys.


Who can apply?

Any homeowner can apply. If you rent your home, ask your landlord if they are willing to apply so you can have the benefit of a tree outside your home.

Unfortunately, no. Some sites don’t get approved for various reasons (underground utilities are in the way, the sidewalk is too narrow to allow for ADA compliance, etc).

Does everyone who applies get a tree?

Do I have to take care of the tree?

Yes! It’s very important for new tree owners to be good stewards of their young tree. For the first two growing seasons (April-November) you’ll need to give your tree at least 15 gallons of water once a week. Each spring, remove your old mulch, aerate the soil, and add new mulch in your tree pit. Make sure the mulch remains 3 inches away from the trunk at all times. Think of the ideal shape of your mulch as a donut, not a volcano. Periodically removing trash and weeds from your pit is also important.

Recognizing Our Neighborhood Trees

The East Passyunk Crossing Arboretum is a Level I Accredited Arboretum with ArbNet, an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards.

Check out the map for the collection of trees that are part of the Arboretum.