311 Help Desk
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City of harrisburg logo

CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
(717) 255-7295
[email protected]

October 12, 2023

HARRISBURG – Fall is one of the best times to do gardening work, and that includes planting trees. Volunteers are needed for the City of Harrisburg’s season tree planting!

This October, the City of Harrisburg will once again be planting street trees. City Forester Ellen Roane is looking for volunteers to help on Friday, October 27; Saturday, October 28; and Sunday, October 29. If you are able to help, please complete this brief form: https://forms.gle/AEmmgmynLTHb2Rfn9

“In the fall, the weather is cooling off, but the ground is still warm, allowing roots to establish without worrying about the heat of summer coming on,” Roane said. “The tree doesn’t have to push out leaves, so it can just focus on growing its roots.”

The City will be planting 74 trees this fall – 44 between the 2100 and 2400 blocks of Kensington Street in South Allison Hill, and 30 in parks at 4th & Dauphin Streets and 4th & Emerald Streets. Trees will be of 21 different varieties: Amur Maackia, Japanese Tree Lilac, Redbud, Sargent Cherry, Accolade Cherry, Oak-Leaf Mountain Ash, Honeylocust, Hornbeam, Hophornbeam, Corneliancherry Dogwood, River Birch, Red Horsechestnut, and Shingle Oak along Kensington; London Plane, Bur Oak, Shingle Oak, Sassafras, Sugar Maple, Scarlet Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Yellowood, Hackberry, Corneliancherry Dogwood, and Redbud in the parks.

They all run between 7’-9’ tall and are easy to handle, according to Roane.

Trees have been purchased through a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation, with funds provided by the United Parcel Service (UPS), which will be sending a team of volunteers to help with planting on Friday, October 27.

Additional volunteers are welcome that day, and most help is needed on Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29.

“The Arbor Day Foundation is dedicated to helping our local planting partners unlock the transformative power of trees in their community,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees clean our air, cool our cities and improve the lives of the people around them. We’re happy to help Harrisburg maximize the impact of their urban canopy and inspire more people to engage with nature in a meaningful way.”

The Fall 2023 tree planting will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Volunteers on Friday and Saturday will meet at the corner of Kensington and 22nd Streets, and Sunday volunteers will meet at 4th & Dauphin Park, located at 1821 N. 4th Street. Arrival times for volunteers are expected between 8:30-8:45 a.m.

Planting will happen, rain or shine, with the exception of severe weather. Handtools, work gloves, water, and snacks will be provided. Volunteers are invited to bring their own, as well as a refillable water bottle. 

“Trees make the City of Harrisburg more beautiful and add so much to the quality of life in our city,” said Mayor Wanda Williams. “We are grateful to UPS and the Arbor Day Foundation for funding this project, and to the many volunteers who give of their time to help plant the trees.”

If signing up more than one adult, please complete the form for each individual, providing name, email, and cell phone where they can be reached for further details about the event. Children under 18 may be included on an adult’s form. The information will be used for purposes of this planting only, and will not be shared. 

Since 2019, more than 500 new trees have been planted in the City of Harrisburg, largely by volunteers.

The City’s Community Tree Planting takes place every spring and fall, with a different neighborhood targeted each time. Property owners are offered new street trees, suitable for their site, at no cost. The only ask if that they help plant, if possible, and care for it until it becomes an established tree.

“Trees offer vast benefits for any community,” Roane said. “Thriving urban forests bolster human health, filter the air by removing pollution, and they also reduce runoff of sediment, pollutants, and organic matter into streams, improving our water quality. Trees have also been shown to reduce crime, lower stress levels, and develop community pride.” Handtools, work gloves, water, and snacks will be provided. Volunteers are invited to bring their own, as well as a refillable water bottle.