Tree Identification and Labeling

Marshall Square Park’s Trees—have you ever wondered what their names are?

The Friends of Marshall Square Park (FMSP), with funding from the Humphry Marshall Foundation, has completed a long-term project conceived years ago and identified as a priority project.

Because of the Park’s early origins as an arboretum, FMSP wanted to give the public information on the important, original trees still standing. Few of us would know them—much less their names—without help. Fortunately, D.L. Howell & Associates, Inc., very generously donated their professional services to produce an accurate Existing Conditions Survey of Marshall Square Park.

Although a long-term priority, the project languished behind other, critically needed improvements until FMSP member Oliver Snow expressed interest in helping identify our trees. A committee, chaired by Past President Anne Walters, researched recommended materials for the labels and proper installation with help from Longwood Gardens and the Morris and Jenkins Arboretums. Steven Wright, a Hamilton Fellow at Jenkins, assisted in identifying obscure tree varieties. Anne coördinated with the sign maker to develop quality aluminum labels to mark each tree with its common and Latin names.

After more than a year of preparation and work, Anne ordered the labels; on February 21, 2012, they were installed using a system of stainless steel screws and springs that allow the trees to grow and expand unharmed.

Jeffrey C. Beitel Architecture donated the services to produce the final TREE LOCATION MAP consisting of a Cover Sheet, four-page Map, and Tree Inventory List, as well as a poster-sized version for the Park’s bulletin board.

So you see, many companies and people contributed their time and services to this very worthy project. We hope you print out—or view on your tablet—the TREE LOCATION MAP PDF and walk through Marshall Square Park to familiarize yourself with the many wonderful trees we are fortunate to have in West Chester’s original park, established in 1848!

We are very proud to have completed this project that could make Marshall Square Park both an historic and horticultural interest destination. Plus now, the names and origins of our historic trees are no longer a mystery!

FMSP is planning a dedication ceremony for the Tree Identification and Labeling project in June 2012.

What our Marshall Square Park trees do for us

Have you ever thought about what our trees do all day, every day?

An email volley called What’s happening to the trees? circulated because of the removal of many mature trees during High Street’s sidewalk renovation and drew in local experts.

A tree with a 24-inch girth will typically store more than 100 pounds of carbon, because trees are largely composed of carbon.

To achieve this girth, the tree has to remove more than 367 pounds of CO2 (a global warming pollutant) from the air. The bigger the tree, the more carbon it stores, and the more CO2 it removes from the air.

As long as a tree is healthy and not extremely old, it keeps taking out more carbon each year. Planting a new, young tree in place of a mature tree cannot mitigate the lost benefit; it takes about sixteen (16) young trees to make up for the loss of one mature tree.

So, now you know what our MSP trees are doing all day, every day, and their names, too!

1 Response

  1. Andy Samuelsen

    So glad to see you had a successful tree labeling project. We are in the process of labeling our trees at Albright College. Can you share with me where you purchased your stainless springs? The ones I have found are difficult to compress and would likely be swallowed up by the tree. Thanks for your help! Andy Samuelsen, Ph.D.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s