We Are the Champions

The Pennsylvania Forestry Association has named six Bryn Mawr specimens as state champion trees.

Amur Cork Tree (Phellodendron amurense) | GPS Coordinates: 40.02714, -75.315381: Introduced to the U.S. in 1856, this native of Asia is a source for traditional Chinese medicine. It has thick, corklike bark, bears large branches, and grows up to 40 to 50 feet. Its twigs bud small flowers, and the female grows clusters of black berries. PA State Champion title awarded 2007.

Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Atropunicea’) | GPS Coordinates: 40.02817, -75.315087: Also known as the Bloodleaved Tree, the copper beech is a mutation of the common beech. Its leaves take their distinctive color from the high concentration of anthocyanin, a pigment that masks the green of chlorophyll. PA State Champion title awarded 2007.





Maidenhair (Ginkgo biloba) | GPS Coordinates: 40.024612, -75.314133: One of the oldest species of tree—the earliest leaf fossils date back 270 million years ago—Ginkgo biloba is the only species in its genus and is thus referred to as a living fossil. They have an elegant fan-shaped leaf, and female trees bear a notoriously rank fruit. All Bryn Mawr’s ginkgoes are male, so no stinky residue litters campus in the fall. In a curious twist, Haverford has only females. PA State Champion title awarded 2007.




Mazzard Cherry (Prunus avium) | GPS Coordinates: 40.02765, -75.315122: In the spring (just in time for May Day), the Mazzard Cherry tree bears both fruit and flowers, and in the fall, its leaves turn red, orange, and pink. Its sweet fruit is a particular favorite of birds—as evidenced by its Latin name, which means bird cherry. Bryn Mawr’s specimen is the oldest tree on campus: It had been around more than 125 years when Helen Flexner first arrived on campus in 1889. Ranks No. 2 in the 2010 PA State Champion listing.




Scotch Elm (Ulmus glabra) | GPS Coordinates: 40.024842, -75.313234: Also known as the Wych elm, this massive shade tree can grow from 80 to 100 feet. The Scotch elm has the widest range of the European elm species, from Ireland to the Urals, and from the Arctic Circle to the mountains of the Peloponnese in Greece. It was introduced into the U.S. and is, sadly, susceptible to Dutch Elm disease. PA State Champion title awarded 2007.





Weeping Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ‘Pendula’) | GPS Coordinates: 40.02611, -75.314161: A slow-growing ornamental evergreen, the weeping hemlock forms a dense and graceful mound and a shallow root system; at 30 feet wide and 10 to 15 feet tall, it’s wider than it is tall. Its horizontal branches, each covered with smaller weeping branches, create multiple layers. These smaller branches are encased in lustrous short dark green needles and small cones. PA State Champion title awarded 2007.