Notable Trees
& Collection

Explore our robust collection of champion trees and other notable botanic wonders.

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American Linden

Tilia Americana

Laurel Hill East (Section Q)Tag 475

American Basswood, or American Linden, is a native tree with great value for wildlife – its flowers are full of nectars for bees, its leaves are food for deer and butterfly larva, and squirrels and chipmunks eat the seeds. This specimen tree is the largest in the state, and casts plenty of shade to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Tilia platyphyllos ‘Laciniata’

Laurel Hill East (Section T) Tag 473

The Cut-Leaf Linden is a cultivar of “Big-Leaf Linden” that was selected for its irregularly-lobed leaves that appear to be cut or shredded. It is a rare tree to find in cultivation anywhere, and the cultivar is usually much smaller than a normal Big-Leaf Linden. Nevertheless, our specimen is the second-largest Big-Leaf Linden in the state and is surely the State Champion cut-leaf cultivar.


Laurel Hill East (Medallion Garden/Shrubbery)Tag Various

Laurel Hill East’s small garden features a collection of “dwarf” and “miniature” conifers. Unlike large coniferous trees and shrubs, dwarf conifers grow only 1-6 inches per year and miniature conifers grow less than 1 inch per year.

A dwarf conifer garden can showcase a varied collection of species and cultivars within a small area, with each slow-growing evergreen displaying year-round ornamental interest. Each selection featured at Laurel Hill East was chosen for its uniqueness, cold-hardiness, and ability to grow in the Philadelphia area.

This special garden was made possible by two generous grants from Ms. Laurie Marshall and The Philadelphia Committee of The Garden Club of America.

Taxus baccata

Laurel Hill West (Cypress Section)Tag 1454

This enormous specimen of English Yew is the largest Yew in Pennsylvania. This tree appears in photographs of the original farmstead, predating John Jay Smith’s purchase of the land for Laurel Hill West in 1869. The beauty of this giant set against the historic receiving vaults can be enjoyed all year long, but is especially beautiful in the winter covered in snow.

Fagus sylvatica f. Pendula

Laurel Hill West (Franconia Section)Tag 2338

On a small island of Laurel Hill West’s Franconia section is a weeping beech that is a tree giant – the state champion of the weeping form. What makes this tree so incredibly huge is the girth of its trunk, nearly fifteen feet around below the lowest branch. Enjoy this massive elephant-like tree all year round.

Weeping Japanese Pagoda

Styphnolobium japonicum ‘Pendula’

Laurel Hill West (Merion Section)Tag 758

This very unusual weeping form of the Japanese Pagoda Tree (also known as the Chinese Scholar Tree) is a state champion tree in Pennsylvania. These cultivars were common in the first half of the 19th century, and this tree likely dates back to the original cemetery plantings.