Friday, March 2, 2012


Welcome to the inaugural post of Philly Trees. 

This blog is about observing Philadelphia trees in their unnatural urban settings. 

Who am I?  I'm just an eager, reckless, cynical tree-lover who wants to hunt down, measure, observe and watch notable trees all around this city.  I'm in my thirties.  I live in a small, studio urban cabin.  It's about nine paces wide, eight paces long, on the third-floor of a corner building just a few blocks away from the rat-race of Center City.  I just got a new iPhone, first camera I've had in probably fifteen years.  I grew up just across the river in south Jersey and, according to the Native American Medicine Wheel, I am an Elk of the Thunderbird Clan, born under the Long Snow Moon of mid-Decembertime.  I'm single, obviously.  You can call me Jon Spruce.

If you're a tree-watching citybilly like myself, then you must love Philadelphia as much as I do, but let's face facts.

This city is tough all over.

It's tough on people and neighborhoods.  It's tough on businesses and buildings.  Neighborhoods can flourish or deteriorate in one generation's time.  It's an old rule here: if this is the neighborhood where your grandparents grew up, you don't belong there anymore.  

It's incredibly tough on trees, especially since they're rooted and locked down to only spot at a time.  In order to survive in this city, you got to find some beautiful trend just to keep your mind from going to mush.  For me, it's trees.  I'm guessing you might feel the same way.

We're going to find some remarkable trees in this city.

We're going to track down some famous trees.  We're going to make a few famous ourselves.  We're going to sneak into the heart of the inner city and see how their trees are doing.  We're also going to scour the perimeter of the city's edges to see those trees too. 

We're going to tackle tree issues.  We're going to figure out how some trees make sure they have a long life in this concrete jungle.  We're going to find other trees that tried their hardest to do the same.

Philadelphia is home to dozens of champion trees.  We even have a moon tree.  We're going to find every one.  Big trees, small trees, beautiful trees, ugly trees, the right trees and the wrong trees, we're going to find them all.

We're going hunting for trees.  I just wish they wouldn't move around so much.

This blog is about the ways certain trees live in Philadelphia.

First stop...a tree I know in North Philly. 

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