Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Earth Day -- the benefits of trees, especially in urban areas

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Apr 22, 2013 9:08 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Monday, April 22:

forest trees with waterfall 300 x 170.jpg

April 22 is Earth Day, a day designed to bring attention to the to protect the planet's environment.

Many Earth Day observances and activities are occurring over the weekend and many more are scheduled for Monday.

On Monday's Radio Smart Talk, we will focus on one of the most basic elements of the environment -- trees and the benefits they provide, especially in urban areas. 

We may take trees for granted but without them, the world would be a much more polluted, dangerous, unhealthy, and unpleasant place.

For example, trees clean the air, provide oxygen, cool streets and homes, conserve energy and save water.

trees urban 300 x 170.jpg

A number of programs have been developed over the past few decades to make trees a large part of a cleaner, healthier environment.  Trees have been planted strategically in thousands of rural locations throughout the country.  But there also are organized efforts to plant and grow trees in cities where they may even have a greater impact.

Joining us on Monday's show will be Christine Ticehurst, Administrator of the TreeVitalize program with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Rachel Reyna, Chief of DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry and Community Forestry Section and Michael Leff, of the Davey Institute, USDA Forest Service, Philadelphia Field Station.



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  • Bob Nunn img 2013-04-22 08:18

    Does DCNR have an identification web page.

    Years back I was hiking in a wooded area and came across a small grove of trees. Each tree had what I'd describe as a small bowl at the base. I have not been able to identify the tree.

  • Michael Leff img 2013-04-22 09:49

    One great resource for tree identification is

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-22 13:04

    E-mail from Patti:

    "A couple months ago I was horrified to see that about 8-10 of the 25-30 year old trees lining the front of Cedar Cliff High School had literally been halved – PP&L apparently sliced them in half vertically so that the branches would not interfere with the electric lines. These were beautiful full trees offering plenty of shade protection. I consider this a crime against nature. How can this be avoided??"

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-22 13:26

    E-mail from James:

    "Does iTree suggest trees based on soil types? I have a wetland area behind my house that I would like to get some good tree/plants for. Thanks."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-04-23 13:37

    E-Mail from Michael Leff:

    For tree selection, I would suggest the same website noted above for tree identification:

    The specific link for "Selecting the right tree for the site" is

  • Michael Leff img 2013-04-24 13:39

    Here are a few helpful websites mentioned during the show: