Tree Tenders

Increasing Our Tree Canopy

We partner with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) to hold two volunteer-based street tree plantings per year, one in April and one in November.

PHS manages securing tree approvals and permits, cutting sidewalk pits, and picking up the trees from the nursery. The EPX Tree Tenders team manages each planting day and fields any questions you may have about the street tree planting program.

The PHS Tree Tenders program has been around for years. It’s a powerful way to enhance the health and community building efforts of neighborhoods. PHS has trained more than 5,000 people who have gone on to lead volunteers in planting over 1,300 trees each year.

Because our area is on the list of priority planting areas in the city of Philadelphia, EPX is committed to increasing the tree canopy in the neighborhood. If you’re interested in planting trees in your neighborhood, we would love your help with the next planting. Email us at to learn more.

The Greater Philadelphia region still needs more trees. While a “good” tree canopy coverage (the area of land shaded by trees) is considered to be 30% of land area, the city of Philadelphia only has 20% coverage and as little as 2.5% in some neighborhoods.

-PHS website


Victoria Lenoci (she/her)

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 that likes to hang out in the back alleys named Betty. 


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.

Does everyone who applies get a tree?

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).

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.

More questions?

Email us at

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