Tree Celebration

Bristol Friends Meeting Tree. Photo by Kati Sowiak

April 6th at 11am

Marking our Sycamore tree’s birthday.

Tree Celebration at Bristol Friends Meeting April 6th

Bristol Friends Meeting is hosting a free community event celebrating trees, in particular their Penn Sycamore. On Sat April 6th from 11am to 1pm, at 235 Market St., Bristol, festivities will include live music, tree crafts, special guests, tree proclamations, and more environmentally friendly fun. Participants will get a white pine tree seedling to take home to plant. Bristol Friends are honored to be joined by dignitaries and special guests. Environmentalist Lynne Cherry, author, illustrator, film-maker and creator of the well-known book “The Great Kapok Tree” will be there. 

About the tree

The event commemorates our Penn Sycamore tree that grows hardily in our side yard at 235 Market St. in Bristol. This significant tree, formerly referred to as a Buttonwood, is believed to be the one listed in the 1932 edition of Penns Woods. The publication, Penns Woods, documents all known trees that likely dated back to William Penn’s time. Walter Leedom, from Bristol, submitted the Meetinghouse’s tree for entry and at the time it was fifteen feet around. It has since grown. While we don’t know the precise age of the tree, we can approximate that it is over 300 years old,  and one of the oldest trees in Bristol Borough. The tree specimen Plantanus Occidentalis, a.k.a. American Sycamore, is in the process of being registered as one of the Champion Trees of Pennsylvania. 

About Lynne Cherry

Pioneering author and illustrator Lynne Cherry celebrates a storied career marked by remarkable accomplishments. A dedicated advocate for environmental education, Cherry’s influential works, including the award-winning “The Great Kapok Tree,” have enlightened and inspired readers globally. Her commitment to merging art and science has left an indelible mark on literature, earning her recognition as a trailblazer in the field of children’s environmental literature. She is the founder of the The Children’s Environmental Literature Foundation and is a champion of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, a conservation initiative in Costa Rica which is a testament to the collective efforts of children worldwide.

About the event

How do you throw a birthday party for a tree? Here’s how – It’s an outdoor celebration filled with crafts, games, activities, music, guests of honor, tree plantings and more. Rise Up Singing from Fallsington Meeting will lend us their voices. Arborist Rich Mowry will tell us all we want to know about trees and more. Author Lynne Cherry will share with us about her inspiring work with the world’s children to save the rainforest in Costa Rica. Local dignitaries will issue proclamations commending stewardship. The Bristol Garden Club will teach us how to care for our trees. We will announce the winners of the birthday card competition. The ceremony starts at 11:30 am. Participants include Bristol Friends Meeting, Fallsington Friends Meeting, Bristol Garden Club, Friends of Burlington Island, Heritage Conservancy, Rich Mowry of T&T Tree Service, & local scouts. We will sing happy birthday and eat birthday cake!

About the birthday card competition

A birthday card competition is open to all students (K – 12).  Children and youth are invited to design a birthday card for the tree with a greeting and original art. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the ceremony. Digital entries will be accepted until 3/31/24 at this form or to [email protected] 

As Quakers, our value of stewardship emphasizes a deep sense of responsibility toward the Earth and its resources. 

For more information contact [email protected] or at 267-795-7475. We hope you can join us on this festive day. 


Bristol Friends Meeting Tree Birthday Card Competition Entry Form

Students from K – 12 are invited to participate in the birthday card competition. Design a birthday greeting for our tree. Winners will be announced, and prizes awarded at the ceremonyat  Bristol Friends Meeting, 235 Market St, Bristol, PA April 6, 2024, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Please join us for this free (tree) family event as we celebrate our Penn Sycamore Tree (who is over 300 years old). Digital entries will be accepted until March 31, 2024.