Schenley Park Genetic Tree Research Grove The future of Pittsburgh's urban forest

Schenley Park Genetic Tree Research Grove A one-acre site in Schenley Park dedicated to planting native and non-native trees for evaluating their potential to become the future urban forest for the Pittsburgh region.


The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has a steeped history in studying resident native and non-native trees and their respective genetic composition. Scientific papers have been published on the studies of London Plane trees, Red maples and American holly. These studies have repeatedly shown that the large, old existing trees have measurable differences at the genetic level while the replacement trees, mostly cultivars of the studied species, do not have genetic diversity. What this means to urban forestry across the globe, as our old heritage trees die, they are replaced by cultivar trees which are clonally produced and lack genetic diversity. It is the cryptic demise of the urban forest.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has chosen to make this information available to urban foresters, arborists, United States Forest Service, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Universities and the general public.

Entrance to the Schenley Park Tree Research Grove

Project Information

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