2023 Remarkable Trees

Apr 27, 2023 | Remarkable Trees

It’s time to announce the second 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! You can find the inaugural class of remarkable trees here.

American elm – Allegheny Commons

This beautiful American elm in Allegheny Commons was selected as a Pittsburgh Champion. The tree can also be nominated for acceptance in the PA Champion Tree program.

Located in Allegheny Commons on the path that starts on W North Ave across from Resaca Place, it is certainly a tall and mighty tree elm.

 The nominator for the American elm had just four words for why this tree should be selected: “It’s huge! And beautiful!”

We agree.

American sycamore – Hazelwood Greenway

This beautiful sycamore can be found on the Hazelwood Greenway. You’ll find the tree at the beginning of the trail when entering from the Elizabeth Street entrance.

Due to its unique split trunk, this sycamore was selected as a Tree of a Kind.

“This tree is right at the beginning of the trail into the greenway, so it’s kind of a greeter,” said the nominator. “With its unique shape, it frames a great view and is super photogenic – good for group photos!”

Black locust – Highland Park

This black locust in Highland Park is the second Pittsburgh Champion tree in the 2024 class. 

You can find this beautiful champion to the west of the fountain, across Reservoir Drive from the Super Playground (and another 2024 Remarkable Tree, below).

“This tree is remarkable to me because of its size and canopy spread. The shape of its limbs and branches are beautifully formed and well balanced,” said the nominator. “And it’s as interesting in winter as it is in the summer. I call it the Sentential. I like to imagine that it has stood there from the beginning of Highland Park, or maybe even before the park was created, just watching whatever the history of the park has to offer.”

Ginkgo – Highland Park

If you’ve ever been to the super playground at Highland Park, you’ve seen this beautiful ginkgo. It holds court over the other trees in the area (and waves hello to the black locust across Reservoir Drive). 

This ginkgo was selected as a Pittsburgh Champion due to its size.

“This is one of the largest gingko trees I’ve seen. Its shape is somewhat unusual in that the limbs are wide-spreading rather than growing straight up as the typical ginkgo does,” said the nominator. “It’s such a presence in the park. I walked by it for many years before I realized it was a ginkgo. It provides a habit and food for birds and squirrels. The color in the fall is just magnificent.

Pin oak – Brighton Heights Park

When you play baseball or softball at Brighton Heights Park, you’re sure to see this pin oak located directly at the backstop of a baseball field. The nominator wrote so passionately about this pin oak that it’s easy to see why it was selected as a Giving Tree.

“This tree sits behind the backstop of a baseball field, and that backstop sits next to a dugout. Painted on that dugout is the history of baseball and Pittsburgh. This tree shades the backstop and it’s been growing there for so long that it started to grow through the backdrop structure.

It creates an absolutely beautiful canopy for sitting in the summer evening time at sunset, early in the morning, or even in the fall and winter. Looking out on the field as people play with their dogs and pets, as deer and crows and turkey feed, it is one of the most beautiful places in the city. Because of the relationship to nature, to baseball, for providing something for humanity in the park…it deserves our love and recognition.”

Pin oak – West End Elliott Overlook

Perhaps the most-photographed tree in Pittsburgh, this pin oak ws, of course, selected as a Witness Tree for all it has seen in our city over the years.

Visit the West End Elliot Overlook and you’ll find this oak at the tip of the park.

“This tree watches everything that happens in the city,” said the nominator of this epic oak.

Sawtooth oak – Westinghouse Park

The second Witness Tree in this year’s class is this stately sawtooth oak. 

You can find it in Westinghouse Park, on the trail just off of N. Murtland Street. It is part of the Westinghouse Park Arboretum.

Why a Witness Tree, you ask? This handsome historic tree dates from the days when the park was Solitude, the estate of George and Marguerite Westinghouse.

Siebold crabapple – Morrow Park

You won’t find many siebold crabapple trees in Pittsburgh, but you can see this one in Morrow Park in Friendship.

This crabapple was selected as a Specimen Tree for its exceptional structure, healthy, and beauty, and as a Tree of a Kind for its rarity.

The nominator of this tree has named it Fred! “Fred has beautiful curves in his trunk and branches than any horticulturist would be proud of,” they said. “He has gorgeous white flowers that bloom in early spring and small red berries. He makes my husband and I happy every time we see him.”

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.