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


Bill Grubb and Sara Nye became the EPX Tree Tenders Co-Chairs in Spring 2018. They each have lived in the neighborhood for several years and got involved in Tree Tenders through volunteering during a tree planting day. Bill is a Realtor and avid gardener with a degree in horticulture; Sara is a marketer and dancer by trade. They share a commitment to increasing the tree canopy and look forward to engaging with local residents on planting and pruning activities.


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

Latest Committee News & Events

  • Fall Tree Planting
    The fall tree planting event will take place on November 19th, 9am – 12 noon. There will be between 24-26 trees being planted in our boundaries, including many around Southwark…
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  • September Clean Up
    This Saturday, September 17th is our next monthly street cleaning. Volunteers will be targeting 10th Street from Tasker to Snyder and are invited to meet in the garden at 1016…
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  • June Clean Up
    Sat, June 11th, 9:30am is the EPX monthly street sweep. Volunteers will be focusing on will be 10th Street from Tasker to Snyder. There will be a team from The Philly…
    Read more