Notable Trees List

Last Updated            
April 21, Frogs Return Moon

North Philadelphia  

Willow oak, Quercus phellos -- Hunting Park, Hunting Park Avenue and Old York Road, parking lot on left as you enter park heading east on Hunting Park Avenue.
Willow Oak, Quercus phellos

Northeast Philadelphia

Tulip poplars, Liriodendron Tulipifera, many notable ones in Pennypack Park.

Tulip Poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera

Prickly ash, Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, also known as the toothache tree, beginning of trail at the Pennypack Creek Environmental Center, look for distinctive rocky, bumpy bark.

American beech, Fagus grandifolia, at the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Ashburner Street, near the historic King's Highway Bridge.

Goldenrain tree, Koelreuteria paniculata, in front of the Northeast Tower Shopping Center at the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Whitaker Avenue, visit in late June during flowering.

Chinese chestnut, Castanea mollisima, on Levick Avenue near Roosevelt Boulevard, catch it in late June to see its canopy of fingery flowers.

Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana, located in Fernhill Park

Spruce, Picea, several notable species in the Holmesburg neighborhood, off State Road and Cottman Avenue.


Germantown Avenue  

Tulip poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera, at Historic Wyck House.

Pawpaw, Asimia triloba, at the Historic Wyck House.   

Hardy orange, Poncirus trifoliate, Historic Wyck House.
Branches of the Hardy Orange
Northwest Philadelphia

Devil's walkingsticks, Aralia spinosa, groves of them in the woods of the Schuylkill Center, best to go in mid-August when flowering.

Devil's Walkingstick, Aralia spinosa

Hawthorns, Crataegus, Schuylkill Center, a row of them planted as a fence-row on the old farmland.

Osage orange, Maclura pomifera, on Ridge Avenue, near Port-Royal Avenue, near the city limits, visit in the winter to see its spooky shape...

 ...then, in summer, to catch its strange fruit.

Serviceberry, also known as the shadbush and the juneberry, probably the downy serviceberry, Amelanchier arborea, several planted along the Manayunk towpath between Main Street and the Schuylkill River... to catch in mid-April to see the flowers that herald the great shad migration.

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, wildflowers growing in Morris Park at the entrance of Morris Park Drive... to go sight-seeing in late March or early April.  Look for them on steep hillsides underneath a carpet of dried leaves...

...but be vigilant.  They only bloom for a little over a week during the sunny part of spring days.

English beech, Fagus sylvatica, champion tree, off Northwestern Avenue coming from Ridge Avenue, in the woods of the Catfish Creek watershed.

Fairmount Park

Dawn redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, in the garden of the Japanese Shofuso House.  To differentiate between the bald cypress, look for opposite leaves and small cones on long stems.

Japanese snowbell, Styrax japonicus, on the grounds in front of the Japanese Shofuso House.

The China fir, Cunninghamia lanceolata, look for very long, sharp needles growing in a flat spray, clusters of prickly cones at the end of the branches, very distinct and uncommon.  Also located at the Japanese Shofuso House.


Castor-Aralia, Kalopanax septemlobus, the sentinel tree outside the gateway to the Japanese Shofuso House.  Leaves resemble maple leaves but very distinct ropy, braided bark, grows black berries from clusters of white flowers, very uncommon, very magnificent.

West Philadelphia  

Weeping willows, Salix babylonica, several notable ones standing in Penn Park at the University of Pennsylvania.

Saucer magnolia, Magnolia 'x soulangiana,' Baltimore Avenue and 44th Street, visit in late March or early April.
Saucer Magnolia

Silk trees, Albizia julibrissin, corner of 42nd and Spruce Streets, go at night in June.

Silk Trees, Albizia julibrissin

Chinese wingnut, Pterocarya stenoptera, at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Lacebark pine, Pinus bungeana, at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Monkey puzzle tree, Araucaria araucana, near the entrance of the Philadelphia Zoo.

The Monkey Puzzle Tree

Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba, near the entrance of the Philadelphia Zoo, largest ginkgo tree in the city.

At the Philadelphia Zoo, largest ginkgo in the city

Franklinia, Franklinia alatamah, corner of 42nd and Spruce Streets, flowers in mid-July, perhaps largest Franklinia in the world.

Franklinia at 42nd and Spruce Streets
The Lost Camellia

Chinese scholar tree, or Sophora, Styphnolobium japonica, Hobson Street between 67th and 68th street, between Elmurst and Buist, champion Pennsylvania Tree, 88 feet tall, 15.5 feet in circumference.

Chinese Scholar Tree, Styphnolobium japonica, on Hobson Street

Redbud, Cercis canadensis, on Saint Bernard Street, between 49th and 50th Streets, off Warrington Avenue, visit in late April-early May to see its unusual distribution of flowers almost completely clothing the entire tree.



Bartram oak, Quercus x heterophylla, on the grounds of the Historic Bartram's Garden.

Ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba, on the grounds of the Historic Bartram's Garden, oldest living ginkgo on Turtle Island.

Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis, in the small bee garden behind the arbor in the Historic Bartram's Garden, visit in early July to catch its starry flowering.

Apricot, Prunus, located at 49th Street and Baltimore Avenue, best to go in early April to see the first blossoms of the year.

European holly, Ilex aquifolium, located in the Woodlands Cemetery off Woodland Avenue.

Witch hazel, Hamamelis, corner of 43rd Street and Chester Avenue, across from Clark Park in front of the city health center, best to see it flowering during the dead of winter.

Southwest Philadelphia

Alder of the Alnus family, located after the swamp overpass at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge.

Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua, many notable ones at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge.

South Philly

American elm, Ulmus americana, notable elm in the center of Marconi Plaza.

Old City  

Moon Tree, Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, 6th and Walnut Streets at Washington Park.
The Moon Tree

Seven Osage Orange trees, Maclura pomifera, at St Peter's Episcopal Church, 3rd and Pine Streets.

Osage orange trees from the Lewis & Clark adventure

Stand of Goldenrain trees, Koelreuteria paniculata, on 8th Street right before junction of Highway 676, visit in late June.

American elms, Ulmus americana, several notable ones at Independence Hall.

American chestnuts, Castanea dentatum, two recent plantings in the mall behind Independence Hall.
Franklinia, Franklinia alatamah, on the grounds of Independence Hall.
    Franklinia at Independence Hall
Center City  

Paulownia, Paulownia tomentosa, at Logan Circle.

Paulownia tomentosa
Honey locusts, Gledistia triacanthos, particularly dangerous stand of specimens right on the western corner of Broad Street and Spring Garden Avenue.



  1. I LOVE your blog!!! thank you for doing it. Miriam Fisher, Chestnut Hill By the way, I live on East Evergreen and there is a HUGE American Elm tree here- I heard that is a state champion or some such thing. Have you seen it?

  2. Thanks so much for this message, Miriam. It's nice to hear. A humongous elm on East Evergreen? I'll have to check it out. I must've been close to it that one time, when I went tree-hunting on the top of the Philly Mountain:

  3. Actually saw that elm tree today. Never new it was there. It has a huge canopy. You can't miss it.

  4. I'm obsessed with Albizia Julibrissin lately. Such a wonderful tree. I wish there were such a place to visit here. Do you recommend a June night because of the fragrance in particular? Lovely photo by the way.

    1. Thanks for finding and reading the blog. The Albizia julibrissin in one of our most under-rated trees that can take over untended spaces despite the advances made by the ailanthus and knotweed. I love seeing them on the highway, standing with the sumac. I recommended June because you'd get a chance to see their flowers which is my favorite part of its entertainment. Thanks again.

  5. There is also a very old rebbud at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, out in the courtyard behind the main building. The Club originated in 1860 and is the oldest Club in America for Artists-

  6. For years I've driven down City Ave and notice a sign on the Philly side near Morris Park, "Historic Tree". It's old and faded. I've followed the indicator into the neighborhood but haven't found anything more. Any idea what tree this is/was?
    thanks, Carol S.

    1. Hi Carol,
      Back in the mid 80's my grandmother and I spent two weekend afternoons looking for that "Historic Tree". I had driven by the sign many times and always wondered what was historic about the tree and where it was. Needless to say we were unsuccessful in our endeavor, but my grandmother called the Philadelphia Historical Society the Monday after our quest and she was told that the sign was put up in anticipation of the bicentennial in either 1975 or 1976 and was directing drivers to a copse of trees in that area that were at least 200 years old. There is no specific "historic" tree and as far as we could ever find out nothing of note ever happened under or near any of them. Just a bit of a hoorah for 1976.

    2. There is at least one specific historic tree....

  7. What is the name of the red and pink trees located in South Independence Mall?

  8. What is the name of the red and pink trees located in South Independence Mall?

  9. Last week walking around S. Philly, I noticed several curb trees with large white cluster flowers that smelled like Lilacs but it was a tree, not shrub, and white not purple. Is there a lilac tree or if not, what do you think that tree was? Thanks, shelly

  10. A very nice collection. Helplful to us as we prepare a field guide titled PHILADELPHIA TREES.

  11. Are The trees along roosevelt blvd ginko trees? I often notice people in the fall picking something off the ground and putting it into buckets.

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  13. The location of the Chinese scholar tree shown should read " Hobson Street between 67th and 68th street, between ElmWOOD and Buist," not "Elmurst and Buist."