If you’re looking for tree resources, you’re barking up the right tree!
Ten Local Locations with an Abundance of Trees:
Chatham Arboretum at Chatham Campus features thirty-two acres with more than one hundred and fifteen different varieties of trees. Download their Tree Guide and Walking Map for the names an locations of the trees, including a Bald Cypress tree and an Eastern Tamarack tree.
Highland Park is home to a plethora of trees with over five-hundred acres and four miles of trails to explore. Norway Maple trees are abundant in the landscape. The park is also home to Pittsburgh’s largest known Ginkgo Biloba tree highlighted below in the Notable Trees section. Download a park map here.
Homewood Cemetery is an accredited Arboretum through Arbnet featuring nearly two-hundred acres and over forty species of trees. A hand drawn map by Stentor Danielson allows visitors to find a sampling of the more significant trees located in the cemetery. Step beneath the majestic European Weeping Beech tree to be enclosed by the foliage of its dangling branches. During the late-Summer, the Cucumber Magnolia displays vibrant reddish-pink cone-like fruits. The aromatic California Incense Cedar is a delight for the senses.
Point State Park is a thirty-six acre park located at the tip of Pittsburgh’s golden triangle with magnificent views of the three rivers. A defining feature of the original landscape design for the park was historically correct plantings. Experience native plants and trees in the woodlands that would have been on the site in the mid-18th century including Dogwood trees, Eastern Redbud trees, and Honey Locust trees. Download the Point State Recreation Guide and map here.
Allegheny Commons Park in the Northside features Lake Elizabeth, unique views of city skyscrapers, and over and a hundred different species of trees. Many of the trees are labeled, and a visitor’s guide showing the names and locations of notable trees is available through Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. The path leading to the lake from West North Avenue (across from Buena VistaStreet) takes you past a Sawtooth Oak and a Burr Oak. A short walk will take you to Buhl Community Park at Allegheny Square where you can enjoy more trees and experience the public art installation Cloud Arbor by Ned Kahn created in collaboration with landscape architect Andi Cochran.
Allegheny Cemetery is an accredited Arboretum through Arbnet with over three-thousand trees on the cemetery grounds. Gaze upward as the sunlight filters through the lacy leaves in the domed canopy created by a pair of Laceleaf Japanese Maples found in the corner of of section forty adjacent to sections forty-four and forty-five on this map.
Mellon Park in Shadyside features eleven acres of grounds with gardens to explore with an abundance of trees including Japanese Stewartia trees with gorgeous white camellia-like blossoms appearing in late Spring. As the sun sets in the beautiful Walled Garden you may be surprised to see starlight above and an illuminated map of stars on the lawn created by artist Janet Zweig. Each light is surrounded by a granite disk inscribed with the star’s name.
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden features trees, shrubs, and plant species native to the Allegheny Plateau in their Allegheny Plateau Woodland. In addition, there is a Heritage Apple Orchard, and Cherry trees at the Lotus Pond. You must become a member or pay admission to visit, or you can use a Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Family Pass if it is available to be picked up at one of the libraries that hold the pass.
The Frick Pittsburgh is an accredited Arboretum through Arbnet. It’s free to walk along the paved pathways that wind through over five acres of grounds when the property is open to the public. Download the Frick Pittsburgh Landscape App for an interactive map with features to help you to identify and learn more about key trees and plants. Enjoy over fifty varieties of trees including Kentucky Coffee trees, Saucer Magnolia trees, and a Bosnian Pine tree. The unusual leaves of the Tri-color Beech tree are particularly stunning.
Westinghouse Park was the ten acre estate George Westinghouse and his wife Marguerite lived on in their home named Solitude. The home no longer remains, but the site has become a public park and is still home to many trees including a Black Oak tree, Norway Maple trees, a Siberian Elm tree, and an Amur Cork tree. The City of Pittsburgh posted a video when the Forestry Division discovered the rare occurrence of triple-fallen trees in this park in May of 2020. Their post quipped: The trees were planted too close together which resulted in a life long competition for space & nutrients. The battle ended in a three-way split. The fallen Red Oaks were estimated to be nearly 150 years old. Two distinctive oak groupings remain at the entrance drive where MacPherson meets Murtland.
Champion Trees of Pennsylvania is a resource compiled by the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, an organization that promotes forest stewardship to ensure forest sustainability to benefit all Pennsylvanians now and into the future. Champion trees represent the largest examples of each tree species found in the state. The Pennsylvania Forestry Association encourages everyone to find, measure, and nominate big trees.
Richland Community Park is an 80-acre park located in Bakerstown where you can find the Penn White Oak Tree. This massive tree first took root over four-hundred years ago, according to a stone marker near the tree’s enormous trunk. Download this trail map to find it.
Highland Park is impressively home to Pittsburgh’s largest known Ginkgo Biloba tree with a trunk circumference of roughly eighteen feet, branches spreading one-hundred-and-forty feet from one side to the other, and height over one-hundred feet tall. It’s located near the Maple Grove Shelter. You can see it in the center of this google map image.
Outside of Phipps Conservatory you can find one of the oldest Dawn Redwood trees in Pittsburgh. With admission or membership you can view Phipps Conservatory’s bonsai collection and access theeirOutdoor and Discovery Gardens to see the Fernleaf European Beech tree with its deeply cut leaves reminiscent of fern fronds.
The Great Oak Tree from the neighborhood of make believe looms large in the memories of all of the children who grew up watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. You can see the tree in person at the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Mr Rogers Neighborhood Exhibit. You must become a member or pay admission to visit, or you can check out an experience kit containing a ticket if it is available to be picked up at one of the libraries that holds the kit. At home, you can create your own paper-crafted version of the Great Oak Tree by printing these downloadable files and following the instructions.
Pittsburgh Redbud Project is responsible for an abundance of vibrant pink flowers that appear very early in the spring! Over three thousand Redbuds were planted to introduce bursts of color to Pittsburgh’s three rivers, with a focus on areas along the trails of North Shore Riverfront Park, Point State Park, Mt. Washington, Downtown, and the South Side.
Pittsburgh Sakura Project of North Park has planted over two hundred ornamental cherry trees. Each of the ten different varieties features a unique blossom with differing form or color. The overall blossom viewing window is increased as each variety does not bloom at the same time, but you may have to visit several times to see every variety in full blossom. Bring your binoculars so you can take in the beauty of the blossoms even from afar.
Magnolias for Pittsburgh is a public art installation where blossoms abound. Two hand-painted bronze magnolia trees by Chicago-based artist Tony Tasset are surrounded by five live magnolias in the parklet at the intersection of Seventh Street and Penn Avenue in the Cultural District. Exceptionally beautiful in the spring when the live trees blossom, it’s also a surreal sight in the winter when snow blankets the bronze sculptural blooms amid the dormant trees. Across the street in Agnes R. Katz Plaza you can admire the carefully manicured Littleleaf Linden trees, and experience the fountain and eye-shaped benches by sculptor Louise Bourgeois.
The Chinese Fringetree with unusual clusters of pure white confetti-like flowers that hang from its branches in the late Spring can be found at Chatham Arboretum with their Tree Guide and Walking Map.
Budburst is an online searchable resource that collects and shares budburst data and budburst species information for plants and trees that have been observed and documented as they change with the seasons. You are invited search the data to find out when when specific trees typically blossom in your location. Everyone is encouraged to observe and report when the plants in their garden, park, town, or city change with the seasons.
Fall Foliage Reports are released weekly by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The first one is typically issued in late September to help you anticipate and plan for optimal foliage viewing.
Penn’s Woods Fall Foliage Map was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to share prime foliage viewing locations in Pennsylvania.
Kinzua Bridge Skywalk provides a unique vantage point high above the canopy of colorful leaves.
Allegheny Commons Park glows with gold in a spectacular autumnal display with over one-hundred Gikgo Biloba trees lining the railroad tracks near Lake Elizabeth.
Riverview Park’s Allegheny Observatory with its buff brick walls, stark white domes, and rusticated sandstone foundation provides the perfect muted backdrop to observe the rich kaleidoscopic display of the Autumn foliage of Sweet Gum trees. Enjoy the spectacularly brilliant colors ranging from red to purple to yellow, sometimes the various hues are even exhibited on the same tree.
Online Tree Calculator:
Tree Benefit Calculator: Input information for a simple estimation of a tree’s benefits. With location, species, tree trunk diameter, and condition, users will receive an understanding of the tree’s benefits in relation to greenhouse gas mitigation, air quality improvements, and storm-water interception.
Tree Age Calculator makes determining the approximate age of living trees simple, without a chainsaw and counting of tree rings. Determine the circumference of the trunk at 4′-6″ above the ground with a measuring tape, and select the the type of tree from the drop-down menu. When you click ‘Calculate’ the approximate age of the tree will be revealed.
Online Maps and Guides:
Trees N’At presents an interactive map where you can search by location to see trees that have been documented there, or you can search a tree’s common or scientific name to see where it can be found.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy presents an interactive map to help you explore the names and locations of trees planted through various tree-planting initiatives since 2001, including the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh plantings and the Pittsburgh Redbud Project plantings.
Bayne Library presents an interactive map of Bayne Park showing the location of trees. The trees on the map link to the Trees of Bayne Park page where you can learn more about each of the different trees within the park.
What Tree Is That is an interactive tree identification field guide presented by the Arbor Day Foundation. This guide won’t replace actual field guides and personal research, and it may not always lead you to the proper identification, but the questions it asks will tune you into what you should be looking at to differentiate one tree from another and will often times point you in the right direction.
Common Trees of Pennsylvania is an informative downloadable PDF guide by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Bureau of Forestry.
If you are traveling and looking for opportunities to view trees, check out this searchable Register and Map of Accredited Arboreta.
Pittsburgh was recognized by National Geographic in 2014 as one of Nine Cities that Love Their Trees, ranking at the top of their list with 42% tree cover as shown in this infographic. Each year more trees have been planted through a variety of tree-planting initiatives, making Pittsburgh even more green!
Tree Pittsburgh is an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing community vitality by restoring and protecting the urban forest of Pittsburgh through tree planting, tree care, education, advocacy, and land conservation.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Section of Botany Collection Herbarium has approximately 3,000 type specimens which are specifically used to formally describe a species new to science. Through their site you can link to the Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium to view digitized resources of regional plant collections and a searchable map. Citizen scientists, amateur botanists, and plant enthusiasts are encouraged to add to the observation records with field data and images.
Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science to serve the international scientific community through research and documentation. The Institute acquires and maintains an authoritative collections of books, plant images, manuscripts, portraits and data files. Search their online database, and also look for information on future exhibitions in the Hunt Institute Gallery.
Native Tree Society is an online interest group devoted to the celebration of trees and forests of North America and around the world, through art, poetry, music, mythology, science, medicine, wood crafts, and collecting research data.
Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania posts future field trips led by members of the Society, which are open to everyone, including non-members, however registration for the trip is required in advance. They also hold meetings that the public is invited to attend.
As many mushrooms are found on the wood of specific tree species, and mushroom forays are typically occur in forested areas, check the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club for future opportunities to join in on a foray where you will learn about mushrooms, and can inquire about their connections to trees.
Selecting, Planting, and Caring for a Tree:
Tree Wizard, presented by The Arbor Day Foundation, will recommend the best tree to plant when given your location, the types of trees you are interested in, considering your soil type and sun exposure. They also created a list of things to consider to help you put the Right Tree in the Right Place.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission reminds all tree planters to Call 811 Before You Dig!
Tree Owner’s Manual presented by the U.S. Forest Service is just like the owner’s manual that comes with an appliance, it includes a parts list, instructions for installation, tips for troubleshooting common issues, and recommended care and maintenance.
The Arbor Day Foundation presents an extensive list of Tree Care Tips and Techniques.
Tree Information For Children:
Carly’s Kid’s Corner presented by the Arbor Day Foundation features digital games and activities that make learning about trees fun. There are also printable activity sheets.
The Morton Arboretum presents: Canopy Career Chronicles quiz which calculates which tree-related career paths might appeal to you based on response to nine questions.
The Arbor Day Foundation presents the Anatomy of a Tree.
Visit our Bayne Library’s Pinterest Tree Crafts and Activities Board and Tree Learning Board. Learn more about all the Trees of Bayne Park and explore our Interactive Bayne Park Tree Map to see the locations, photographs, and names of over a dozen different species of trees.