Rose Garden
Neighborhood Association

Forty-Eight Trees Planted as Hurricane Sandy Strikes (on behalf of Becky Bowen)

November 12, 2012 12:15 PM | Amy & Ted Douglass

The RGNA Tree Project was in full swing on October 29th when Sandy struck our area. After three days of planting 14 trees, we were forced to take a break until the hurricane passed. Several homeowners scrambled to stake the new trees to protect them from the storm. One week later, while the sound of chainsaws marked the death knell for too many more of our beautiful old trees, David Walker, of  Walker's Tree Farm, resumed planting the rest of the trees ordered for our project. We planted a total of 48 new trees that now line many of our streets.

Partnering to Preserve our Green Canopy

The first planting is the result of a partnership among the Rose Garden Neighborhood Association (RGNA), the Allentown Parks and Recreation Department, and Walker's Tree Farm. City arborists Rick Howells and Rick Holtzman helped us understand the requirements for planting trees on the verge (grassy area between the sidewalk and curb), made recommendations about what species to plant, visited the Walker Tree Farm to assess the overall quality and health of the trees, issued a group permit, and coordinated the PA1 calls for each property involved in the effort. They also worked with many neighbors to assess the health of trees and to recommend appropriate steps to remove hazardous trees. The Walker Tree Farm provided installed trees at an incredible price. We estimate that neighbors saved up to 50% of the regular cost for an installed tree.  A 2" - 2.5" caliper Autumn Sunset Maple will cost less than $200. David Walker met with neighbors to determine home owners' needs and preferences and to help place trees along the verge or in the yard. Later he would return to plant the trees.

It was another storm one year ago that prompted the Park and Garden Committee to initiate the RGNA Tree Project. After counting 33 felled trees by early March, we decided to take action. The RGNA Steering Committee endorsed the project wholeheartedly, and on March 22nd, at the general meeting, we started discussing the Tree Project. By the end of the summer we had negotiated a great price for trees to be supplied by the Walker Tree Farm, a 100 year old tree farm located in Lehighton. We had to wait until the first frost, when the trees go dormant and it is safe to transplant them. The first Tree Project planting started on October 24. The result: many excited and happy neighbors marked the beginning of our reforestation effort.  

Overall, nineteen households participated in the project. Several varieties of trees were planted in the verges, including maples (Legacy Sugar Maples, October Glories, Autumn Radiance, Red Sunset, and Sun Valley); oaks (Pin Oaks and Red Oaks). Several other varieties, including Dogwoods and a Norway Fir, were planted in yards. Most trees were 2 - 2.5" caliper, although several owners selected larger trees for greater impact.

Other RGNA neighbors have planted trees independent of our project over the course of the planting season and we want to thank them for their efforts to reforest our neighborhood.  We encourage you to consider planting trees and to pursue an option that works well for you.

One more group deserves recognition - the volunteers (our neighbors) who worked to make this happen. For every cluster of new trees you see, there is a neighbor who coordinated the effort. Another group of volunteers worked on the tree survey conducted this summer. And a third group coordinated the overall project. If you believe this is an important objective for our neighborhood and have some time to help talk to neighbors and spread the word, contact Becky Bowen via e-mail at: or by phone at:  (610) 434-4396.

RGNA Tree Project 2013

Given the success of this first initiative, we will continue to promote the RGNA Tree Project as long as there is enough interest in planting trees and volunteers to help make it happen. We already have requests for the Spring 2013 planting. If there are 10 - 12 trees to plant, David Walker is willing to make the trip to Allentown.  We will begin to distribute information in the next few weeks asking homeowners to consider replanting trees along the streets or in their yards.  If you have been thinking of replanting, this is an opportunity to take action. We have tried to make the process as simple as possible and have obtained great prices on healthy trees. All you have to do is sign up by February 1, 2013. Your name and contact information will be given to David Walker, who will contact you to arrange a consultation at your house and help you decide what to plant and where to plant it. You may place an order with David or you can take a trip up to the farm to select and tag your own trees. (The Walker Tree Farm is about 20 minutes north of Allentown.) Planting will begin as early as the soil is workable at the end of March or beginning of April.

You may sign up at the RGNA General Meeting  on November 13th or by returning a Tree Project Spring Sign-up flyer to one of several volunteers working on this project. Additional information may be obtained on the RGNA website at: You may read prior blogs or look for links under the Park and Garden web page. Walker's Tree Farm contact information is: (610) 379-5658 or (570) 657-6302.

Take Steps Now to Preserve the Beauty of our Neighborhood

As I walked down Chew Street on a recent morning I watched as an old Norway Maple on Main Street was being taken down. Along the verge, three new Legacy Sugar Maples had already been planted. This is a good example of how we can manage the trees in our neighborhood. Where there are 80 to 100 year-old trees,  we need to think about renewal. At what point do we start planting new trees to take their place? Health assessments by an arborist can help owners make a decision about the best time to replant. We need to manage our forest.  We have lost too much of our green canopy and we need to take action now to prevent it from getting worse. We need to act to preserve the beauty of our neighborhood.

© Rose Garden Neighborhood Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software