2023 Remarkable Trees

Apr 27, 2023 | Remarkable Trees

It’s time to announce the inaugural class of the Remarkable Trees of Pittsburgh!

These trees were nominated by residents of the City of Pittsburgh, and selected by members of the Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission to celebrate and protect our City’s tree heritage and the many social, economic, environmental, and human health benefits trees provide to current and future residents.

Trees were nominated and selected into one of five categories: 

    • Giving Tree: A tree that’s rich with wildlife and/or plays a key role in the urban ecosystem
    • Pittsburgh Champion: The largest, or one of the largest, tree of its species on public property
    • Specimen Tree: A horticulturalist’s delight – a tree of exceptional structure, health, beauty, etc. 
    • Tree of a Kind: Unique in appearance, origin, growth form, or in some other aspect; perhaps an unusual species, or tree with an unusual tale
    • Witness Tree: A tree with historical and/or cultural significance, e.g. commemorates or has borne witness to a historic event, has reached a ripe old age, is associated with a celebrated individual or entity, defines a neighborhood, sparks tradition, or is otherwise part of the cultural fabric of the City

Read about each tree below, and get out there to see each one in person using our interactive map!

Bald Cypress – Arsenal Park

This is the first of three bald cypress trees in the inaugural class of Remarkable Trees. It was selected as a Specimen Tree.

Located near the main entrance of Arsenal Park off 40th Street, it certainly is a tree of exceptional health and beauty!

The nominator for this bald cypress says, “An incredible tree! Easily over 50 years old, it’s huge and quite the specimen for this species in the city. It’s nice to sit on the bench under this tree in the park.”

Bald Cypress – Mellon Park

The second bald cypress in this class is located in Mellon Park, south of Fifth Avenue near Beechwood Boulevard (look for the Katsura close by). Mellon Park is the City of Pittsburgh’s first public arboretum.

This tree was selected as a Pittsburgh Champion for its exceptional size. The tree can also be nominated for acceptance in the PA Champion Tree program.

“It towers over the area in the park near Beechwood Boulevard, and provides shade for the park visitors who spend time relaxing and playing beneath its branches. The cones are always great fun for the kids to collect. It is a well-loved tree,” says the tree’s nominator.

Bald Cypress – Stanton Avenue

Our final bald cypress in this class is also the only street tree selected in 2023! This tree is also the only tree to be selected in multiple categories: Giving Tree, Specimen Tree, and Tree of a Kind.

You can find this tree in the 6300 block of Stanton Avenue in Highland Park. 

The nominator for this bald cypress gave several compelling reasons for its nomination and selection. “This tree is strong, beautiful, and towers above the houses and nearby trees. It provides a habitat for birds and squirrels and much-needed shade for the surrounding area and improves the air quality. One can see this magnificent tree from a long way off; its presence is powerful, comforting, and truly awesome.”

Copper Beech – Frick Park

Visitors to Frick Park can marvel at this statuesque copper beech by entering through the gatehouse located at Reynolds and Homewood Streets in Point Breeze.

This tree was selected as a Tree of a Kind for its appearance and relatively unique species for the area.

“It is a magnificent copper beech. The leaves are almost like flames on a clear day in the spring. I walk by this tree daily and can also see it from my kitchen window and feel so enlivened by being in its presence,” says the tree’s nominator.

European Hornbeam – Arsenal Park

This unique tree is likely one of the largest, if not the largest European hornbeams on City property. It was nominated and selected as a Pittsburgh Champion and can be nominated to the PA Champion Trees registry as well.

You can find this tree in Arsenal Park, southeast of the flag pole near the main entrance off 40th Street.

“It is possibly the largest of its species on City property, and is still growing vigorously,” says the nominator.

Katsura – Mellon Park

This katsura can be found near the Remarkable bald cypress in Mellon Park, south of the entrance at Beechwood Boulevard and Fifth Avenue.

This tree was selected as a Tree of a Kind. It is a relatively unique species in Pittsburgh, and has a hidden secret: in the fall, it releases a sweet scent similar to cotton candy!

The nominator for the Katsura said, “This tree is a delight to park visitors, especially to the children who love to play nearby in the fall and enjoy the sweet scent of cotton candy that fills the air around it. It’s also an ever- changing color palette throughout the year, as the leaves change from reddish purple in the spring to blue-green in the summer and finally to beautiful shades of lemon and apricot in the fall.”

Lacebark Pine – Mellon Park

The third tree to be nominated in Mellon Park for 2023 is a lacebark pine. This tree can be found in Mellon Park north of Fifth Avenue, near the intersection with Penn Avenue.

This tree was selected as a Tree of a Kind because of its unique species and distinctive bark.

“The variety of colors on the bark of this tree compels visitors to move closer to investigate. The number of trunks makes it even more interesting, and the shape of the tree is beautiful. It is a treasure!” says the nominator.

White Oak – Phillips Park

Be sure to head to Carrick to see this beautiful white oak, located between the orange steps and the swimming pool. Admire it as you enjoy the disc golf course!

This tree was selected as a Giving Tree. Not only does it provide food for wildlife through acorns, it also provides all park visitors with shade as one of the tallest white oaks in the park.

The nominator for the white oak said, “This tree is large and beautiful, and provides many benefits.”

Check out the Remarkable Trees Map

Whether you’re at your desk or on the go, you can see a map of all the Remarkable Trees by visiting the Map page.

Nominate a Tree

We invite you to celebrate with us. Nominate a Remarkable Tree. As our registry grows, we invite you to visit these Remarkable Trees and celebrate the gifts they provide.