Today's Is it Doable? feature in Metro takes a look at the promises the candidates made earlier in the campaign to plant anywhere from 23,000 to 100,000 trees in the city.
Experts say the 23,000-tree figure sounds about right, but promises above that might be stretching it. Both Dwight Evans and Chaka Fattah promise 50,000 trees in their first four years. Fattah already has a second term wrapped up in his head and his environmental plan promises 100,000 trees.
“I think the numbers that the candidates have put out are all good, some of them are probably more doable than others,” said Mike Groman, senior director of Philadelphia Green. “It’s all going to come down to resources. What’s the dollar figure that’s going to be attached to all these trees?”
According to Fairmount Park Commission director Mark Focht, whose agency is responsible for the city's 145,000 or so street trees, his organization plants between 800 and 1,000 trees a year. It also partners with other nonprofits throughout the city to work on tree planting and maintneance.
"It would take a lot of people sitting down and thinking through it," he said. "That's what's always the issue with anyone just throwing out numbers."
Focht said tree planting isn't "rocket science, but it's a fairly complicated process."
The Park Commission is responsible for approving tree plantings, including ensuring the right species of tree is being planted in the right locations and that there isn't interference with utility lines both underground and in the air.