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What do Our Lady of Snows, Glenburn Road and Arbor Day have in common?

The answer is TREES! And Arbor Day is intended to get us thinking about them.

Close your eyes and visualize driving down Glenburn Road, one of the most prominent tree-lined streets in the Abingtons. In the summer, it is cool; in the fall, it is colorful, and people seldom drive recklessly on it. It is also no coincidence that homes along this stretch have higher values. The trees on Glenburn Road are the gift of previous generations, and the Clarks Green Tree Commission is responsible for caring for them.

Imagine if a new homeowner decided to cut down four ancient canopy trees on Glenburn Road? The Clarks Green Shade Tree Commission could take action to fine the homeowner and replace the trees, but how do you replace 80-year-old trees?

In the case of Our Lady of Snows, the locust trees that line State Street are not in the right-of-way, which means that these trees are the church’s gift to the community but try to imagine State Street without those trees.

Even though State Street’s pear trees are in decline, imagine spring without their white blooms, or December without their lights. It is the Clarks Summit Shade Tree Commission that is responsible for protecting this asset to our main street.

Remember when the intersection at Grove and State was redesigned a few years ago? It was only Citizens Savings Bank’s fight and Colarusso’s willingness to plant new trees literally in their parking lot that saved this gateway to a downtown with character in the heart of the Abingtons from being transformed to a blur of lifeless parking lots.

Shade Tree Commissions have been part of Pennsylvania law for longer than Clarks Summit has been a borough. It is the work of previous commissions that benefits all residents today. Just like human beings, trees have limited life cycles, especially in urban environments. The work begun yesterday must continue; so today’s commissions are planning and planting to ensure a green tomorrow.

If Shade Tree Commissions are responsible to plant, prune, and purge trees on public property, including parks, where does celebrating Arbor Day come in?

In order to promote trees to the public, the Shade Tree Commissions of the Abingtons will celebrate Arbor Day at the Clarks Summit Fire Co. No. 1, 321 Bedford St., on Sunday, April 27, at 2 p.m.

While Our Lady of Snows and Glenburn Road strike me as two of the best examples of private and public trees in the Abingtons, perhaps you can think of other examples. Let me know where else trees play a significant in role in the Abingtons, or anything else on the well-treed side of your mind by emailing me at

Joshua Arp is an ISA certified Municipal Specialist, a Clarks Summit Tree Commissioner and operator of a landscape maintenance