Quantcast

Great Trees: Web Extra

A Web-only extra to the "Great Trees" feature in our April 2009 print edition.



The George Peabody Arborvitae, found in Pittsburgh, stands tall.

George Peabody Arborvitae

Marie and Jeffrey Carelle planted a tree to commemorate the birth of each of their four children. This evergreen beauty was daughter Melissa’s, a tiny thing when Marie carried it home from the nursery. Now 25 years old and living in Oregon, Melissa is welcomed home by this stunning arborvitae each time she returns to Pittsburgh to visit family and friends.

Rising like a golden sunbeam behind Weischedel Florist and Greenhouses next door, its color is most vibrant in the late afternoon, when the foliage literally glows. Marie has long since lost the tree’s plant tag, but this lovely specimen appears, by its color and habit, to be a George Peabody arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘George Peabody’).  

Marie herself grew up on this property, and it was from her father, Robert Thiel, that she inherited her very green thumb.  Like his father before him, he gardened their verdant patch before Marie and Jeff assumed stewardship. How like Pittsburgh for a family to lovingly tend the same plot of ground for four generations!


Southern Magnolia

A grand old southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is not particularly newsworthy, at least not south of the Mason-Dixon Line. But this statuesque beauty grows in East Liberty, dwarfing others of her species in the Pittsburgh area and defying our northern winters. Evidently no one thought to tell her that southern magnolias weren’t hardy here – or else she simply paid them no mind.

This tree is almost famous. In the most recent edition of Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (1998, Stipes Publishing), author Michael Dirr claims to have witnessed a mature southern magnolia thriving in Pittsburgh. This is that tree. 

Beautiful glossy evergreen leaves are the perfect backdrop for the dinner plate-sized creamy white flowers in June. If one can reach them to confirm it, the blossoms are as sweetly scented as perfume. No telling how old this specimen is – it’s not polite to ask a lady’s age – but I first marveled at her elegant beauty 25 years ago when I moved to Pittsburgh. She was already of blooming age at the time. Since southern magnolias can take fifteen to twenty years to bloom from a seed, she may just gracefully be approaching middle age.

Hot Reads

7 Things You Need to Know About the Pittsburgh Marathon

7 Things You Need to Know About the Pittsburgh Marathon

Before you head for the course, brush up on etiquette for the race.
Best Doctors 2014

Best Doctors 2014

We present to your our list of the 608 leading regional physicians across 77 specialties.
Review: Crested Duck Restaurant

Review: Crested Duck Restaurant

Crested Duck is a prime place to enjoy cured meats, pickled plates and European-inspired bistro dishes, such as chicken roulade.
Crazy in Love, Even at 40

Crazy in Love, Even at 40

As PittGirl approaches her 40th birthday, she rekindles her love for Pittsburgh.

The 412

7 Throwback Commercials From Pittsburgh’s (Weird) Past

7 Throwback Commercials From Pittsburgh’s (Weird) Past

Come for the nostalgia, stay for KDKA’s John Cigna being kidnapped via helicopter.
Iron Worker Relaxes on I-Beam at the Top of PNC Plaza, Takes Bonkers Photo

Iron Worker Relaxes on I-Beam at the Top of PNC Plaza, Takes Bonkers Photo

This man is not to be trifled with, you guys.
Pittsburgh is the 15th-Best City in America for Millennials, According to Millennials

Pittsburgh is the 15th-Best City in America for Millennials, According to Millennials

Half a million college students can’t be wrong.
Here's How Bad This Neverending Winter Stinks, Visualized With Zoo Animals

Here's How Bad This Neverending Winter Stinks, Visualized With Zoo Animals

Bummed about the April snow? Here's a friendly reminder that it could always be worse.

Hot Reads

7 Things You Need to Know About the Pittsburgh Marathon

7 Things You Need to Know About the Pittsburgh Marathon

Before you head for the course, brush up on etiquette for the race.
Best Doctors 2014

Best Doctors 2014

We present to your our list of the 608 leading regional physicians across 77 specialties.
Review: Crested Duck Restaurant

Review: Crested Duck Restaurant

Crested Duck is a prime place to enjoy cured meats, pickled plates and European-inspired bistro dishes, such as chicken roulade.
Crazy in Love, Even at 40

Crazy in Love, Even at 40

As PittGirl approaches her 40th birthday, she rekindles her love for Pittsburgh.
Warhol Redux

Warhol Redux

The Andy Warhol Museum has turned things upside down.
Top 10

Top 10

The best things to do in Pittsburgh in April.