Trees


During the early years of operation at Allegheny Cemetery, a wide variety of trees were offered for planting. Some have survived, some have not, but the mixture has brought about the introduction of a considerable number of species that did not or may not have existed here under original conditions.

Western Pennsylvania two hundred years ago was nearly entirely wooded. This region was typically covered with a mixed forest of hardwoods, particularly oak, beech, maple and chestnut with sassafras, gum, sycamore, hickory, walnut, and tulip. Understory shrubs of witch hazel, alder, redbud, laurel, rhododendron, dogwood and sumac were typical along the forest edges. Wildflowers such as trillium hepatica, squirrel corn, Dutchman's breeches, blue flag and many others would have been common. On the North facing slopes of the valley, there were probably hemlocks and white pine trees, the predominant evergreens in this area. Remnants of the mighty oaks still stand.

The trees and shrubs are not labeled here, providing a bit of a challenge in identification and recognition, but a splendid exercise for investigation. Quite a number of trees and shrubs introduced for their landscape quality are not native. Norway spruce, lilac, euonymus, forsythia, crabapple and others are mostly European or Asian in origin.


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