Ash Tree Crisis

Almost 900 ash trees near our hiking trails have been killed by the emerald ash borer, creating a hazard to Tyler visitors. For the safety of our community, these trails are temporarily closed while we work to bring the hazardous trees safely to the ground.

Right now, work is underway to remove over 580 hazardous trees from almost 9.5 of our 17 miles of trails outside of the deer-exclusion fence. But even when these areas are reopened, our work is far from done. Almost 300 additional dead trees will still need to be removed from harder to reach areas, in order to fully reopen our trail system.

And, sadly, even more of our ash trees are expected to die in the next several years. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture estimates 99% of infested ash trees will die. This means the emerald ash borer is on track to kill virtually every ash tree in our beloved woodlands.

The cost of this immense and urgent endeavor goes well beyond Tyler’s annual budget. Tyler’s Board of Trustees quickly allocated reserve funds to tackle this challenge. But we need your support to reopen the trails without sacrificing our financial stability.

Your donation will help Tyler recover from the financial impact of this crisis. Your support is crucial as we navigate the safe removal of hundreds of hazardous trees, reopen the trails, and restore our natural lands. Thank you for your loyal support!

The Good News:

The good news is that removing dead ash trees opens up space for forest, riparian, or meadow regeneration opportunities in select areas of the arboretum. Once the initial work is complete and trails are reopened, there will be many volunteer opportunities related to site stewardship in some of these changing areas. Opportunities will include planting and tending native species and combatting invasive species. Your long-term role in a particular space can help shape the biodiversity of the future.

While the removal work is underway, we are also creating a new walk inside the fence! Highlighting Dr. Wister’s contributions to the Arboretum, this 2.5-mile loop will have a variety of viewsheds – including forest, meadows, and many of the collections planted by our first Executive Director, Dr. John C. Wister. We are thrilled to create new opportunities to enjoy the 100 acres inside the fence. Please look for new programs, guided walks, and more interpretation in the coming weeks on our website.

More Resources

More information on the ecological damage this region is facing from Emerald Ash Borer can be found here: