Back in November of last year, we teamed up with the Davey Tree Expert Company and Tree Pittsburgh to save East Liberty’s beloved Southern Magnolia tree at Collins Street and Negley Run Boulevard after nearby construction threatened its long-term health. As one of western Pennsylvania’s last remaining fully blossomed, southern magnolia trees, estimated to be around 60 years old, it was important that we preserve this rare specimen. To do so, the folks from Davey Tree worked to revitalize the tree’s root system by infusing organic material and “bio-char” to provide an optimal environment for tree growth.

The seedlings are sprouting in Tree Pittsburgh’s Heritage Nursery.

Meanwhile, because the tree had done so well in our region despite the stressors of its urban environment, Tree Pittsburgh offered to collect the southern magnolia seeds in an effort to supply its Heritage Nursery, which seeks to preserve and propagate various plant species and sell them to reforestation efforts.

The seeds were planted in November and Tree Pittsburgh has been monitoring them ever since in partnership with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

We recently checked in with Tree Pittsburgh to see how both the tree and seedlings were doing:

“The last time I saw the Magnolia in June it was growing and flowering as normally expected. The best outlook is that the tree continues along a normal path for decades to come. Construction damage does not often show up until years later, so the hope is that the soil treatments will promote healthy growth and help heal any damage caused from demolition/construction.”

– Matthew Erb, director of urban forestry, Tree Pittsburgh

“The seedlings have come up, and they are doing well!”

– Megan Palomo, heritage nursery director, Tree Pittsburgh

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