Remembrance for the Cedar of Lebanon

How do you say goodbye to one of the oldest members of the family? Do we choke back the tears and wish that we had come to more family gatherings? Do we try to recount when they started to decline and why we did not see it sooner? Or do we remember the wisdom that this family member shared and the many generations that were inspired by the life that was lived? Do we then grab hold of these memories and live ours in reflection and homage to this family member? This is the legacy that the Cedar of Lebanon leaves.

The Cedar of Lebanon came to us through the Hoopes & Bro. Nursery (West Chester, PA) in 1859, and was probably planted between then and 1863. The Barn sheltered it from harsh winds and the slope helped to shed excess water. Its companions were other cedars, magnolias, sugar maples and even a grand ginkgo in an area that we call the Old Arboretum. These grand, majestic trees planted on a farm in Pennsylvania by two brothers represent a new approach to seeing the world through nature studies.

Today, over 160 years later, the farm has become an Arboretum to help people become stewards of the natural world. The Painter Brothers, by planting the cedar, ginkgo, magnolia and many more, as well as documenting what they observed, wanted people to learn and experience the natural world through science. The death of our Cedar of Lebanon is the physical end, but not the movement it has started. If we learn one thing, it’s that planting a tree is not for oneself, but for the many generations to come.

What is next? The tree stands behind the Barn and the removal process will occur sometime between December 2021 and February 2022. We will share information when the tree is being removed, including the safety precautions in place to protect visitors during that time. Follow the links on this page to discover how you can take part in activities surrounding the Cedar of Lebanon. We encourage you to leave a message for the Cedar either in person or through our portal. Our schedule for you to write a message on site is 10/23, 10/28, 10/31, 11/6, 11/11 and 11/14. No reservations needed.

Alternatively, you can stop by our Visitor Center at any time to leave your message. We also have several blogs that explain the steps we have taken in saving the genetics of this tree, as well as possible garden space in the planning stages. For those who would like to learn about our heritage and champion trees, we suggest taking our tour called A Celebration of Trees on 10/23, 11/6 or 11/13 from 11 am to noon. To review the description and to sign up, go to our calendar.

Have questions? Send us a note at and specify Cedar of Lebanon in the subject box.

To support Tyler Arboretum and our many majestic trees, you may donate here. Thank you for your care for Tyler!

Write a Message to the Cedar

Blogs and Videos