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Greening Opportunity: Free London Plane Seedlings Available for Transplanting

Hello community!

Here at the Greening Committee we are working to protect, preserve, and enhance our lovely tree canopy. The trees in this neighborhood are part of what gives the neighborhood a defining “Garden Court” character, providing beauty and shade and hosting birds and wildlife.

However, our beautiful neighborhood tree canopy is aging, at times gracefully and at times less so. Protecting and enhancing the tree canopy means we must work hard to plant trees today that will become the lovely overhead tree canopy of the future. Many of the trees in Garden Court are over 100 years old, and they face stresses from automobile pollution, utility trimming, utility street work, paving, disease, heat, drought, and regular aging. Last year, many of the London Plane trees, among others, were stressed from anthracnose, a fungal disease that thrives in cool, cloudy, damp springs. Anthracnose attacks first year growth and is often fatal for first year seedlings. In older trees the disease often kills the leaves on new growth and can cause the trees to drop small branches throughout the spring and summer. Healthy older trees are capable of recovery. This year, the hot, sunny, summer drought was beneficial for helping trees eliminate lingering anthracnose, but certainly caused stress for trees in other ways. Many trees have been dropping leaves early this year as they attempt to preserve their energy and their health. Trees dropping leaves early isn’t always a sign the tree is unwell, in fact, it is often a sign that a tree is dealing with stress rather than becoming overwhelmed. Hopefully the rain this week will be a relief for our neighborhood trees and gardens.

This fall, the GCCA Greening Committee will be working again to help plant some trees. October – November is an ideal time to plant trees, as it gives them time to adjust and take root before the winter.

This year, the London Plane trees had a banner, with seedlings popping up in droves throughout gardens, in sidewalk cracks, in gutters, in lawns, in the windshield wiper wells of underutilized cars! They don’t seem to have been dissuaded by the drought. However, these aren’t locations that are appropriate for trees that will eventually grow 60’ tall! The Greening Committee has identified several locations where this year’s London Plane tree seedlings are thriving and we will be able to dig them out for replanting in October.

We are excited for the opportunity to find homes for these healthy seedlings, already about 3 feet tall, and to watch them grow and mature. If you would like a free Garden Court London Plane seedling and you have space that’s about 4’x4’ where you can water the tree regularly, please reach out to We can offer support in tree care and trimming in the coming seasons.

If you have any London Plane seedlings sprouted in your garden or other locations where they cannot remain permanently and are interested having them transplanted, please reach out and we can help find them a forever home.

Left: Some London Plane seedlings which need a new home to flourish. Above: Mature London Plane trees provide beauty and shade in Garden Court.

Check back here in the coming weeks for a posts covering how to plant a street tree, how to get connected with various programs for free trees, and on caring for newly planted trees. Happy fall!

VH for Greening


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