Annual Fund

Our trees are in trouble, but you can help!
Donate by May 31 to keep Tyler beautiful.

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I’m concerned about our trees.

They are showing greater signs of decline and distress than ever before. I’ve been the Director of Horticulture at Tyler Arboretum for 17 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.

As the climate changes, our trees must fight against intense environmental challenges. Invasive pests, rising temperatures, storm damage, and blight are getting worse. And our trees are paying the price! Without our trees, Tyler Arboretum would not be the special place you know and love.

I know you care about Tyler Arboretum. Can you donate $25 now to protect the future of Tyler Arboretum’s trees? With your help, we can ensure Tyler remains a place of peace and beauty despite the impact of climate change.

It hurts my heart to watch our trees die. This winter we had to cut down our beloved Cedar of Lebanon. This historic tree was planted over 150 years ago. It witnessed decades of life and history play out beneath the Tyler barn. And it offered beauty and joy to generations of visitors.

Was its life shortened by the stress of climate change, hotter summers, and more severe storms? We’ll likely never know for sure. But I do know it was hard to say goodbye.

Many people shared how much the Cedar of Lebanon meant to them. Now that it’s gone, you can see and feel its huge absence… and that was just one tree! Can you imagine if hundreds of trees died at Tyler Arboretum?

Unfortunately, that’s happening right now. I estimate that over two hundred ash trees have already died in our woodlands because of the emerald ash borer. In time, this invasive pest will likely kill all the ash trees in our area.

The larvae of these dark green pests bore under the bark, creating tunnels as they eat. These tunnels disrupt the tree’s ability to transport water from its roots to its leaves. And without water, the tree dies.

And if that isn’t enough… a tree infested with the emerald ash borer is a favorite target for woodpeckers. The birds strip away huge swaths of the tree’s bark as they gorge on the borers inside.

The emerald ash borer is already responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 30 states. We cannot stem the tide. But with your financial support, we can look towards the future.

Our world is changing, and Tyler Arboretum must change too. Can you help by making a donation online now? With your support, we’ll be better able to handle the environmental challenges we are already facing, and the ones that are yet to come.

As you know, the spotted lanternfly is yet another invasive pest that has caused a lot of harm in recent years. These insects weaken our trees and leave a sticky mess wherever they go. I am so thankful for the support of our donors as we face challenges like these pests. I was so relieved when we saw a decrease in spotted lanternfly activity last year.

But as climate change continues, insect outbreaks will likely worsen. Rising temperatures are also having an effect. At Tyler, we can see that some Northern species of trees are beginning to struggle. Meanwhile, Southern species are becoming more suitable to our landscapes.

And as the Earth warms, the atmosphere becomes less stable. This leads to more storms with high winds, torrential rains, and lightning strikes. These weather events can be very dangerous. Not only do they weaken our trees, but they can also destroy them. Last year we lost nine trees to storm damage, and countless limbs and branches. This costs us valuable staff time and racks up expenses to safely remove dead trees.

As you can see, the challenges created by climate change are daunting. But I have so much hope for the future. With donors like you, Tyler will remain a beautiful and safe place to spend time outdoors for generations to come.

Your Annual Fund donationreceived by May 31 – will help us:

  • Recover from tree loss caused by the effects of climate change,
  • Protect Tyler’s future by planting new trees that are more suited for our changing environment, and
  • Further Tyler’s conservation efforts.

Here at Tyler, one of our most important conservation projects is our American Chestnut Orchard. It is led and managed by dedicated Tyler volunteers who are passionate about reviving this iconic tree.

At one time, American chestnut trees numbered in the billions. Today, they are virtually nonexistent. In 1904, a foreign fungus made its way to the United States. American chestnuts had no resistance to it. And in time, this blight completely wiped out an important part of American life.

Tyler’s American Chestnut Orchard was first planted 25 years ago. And it was one of the first of its kind! Here we work in conjunction with other local organizations to advance the scientific study of American chestnut trees. The goal is to develop a blight-resistant crossbreed to restore the species to its native range.

Our orchard acts as the “testing grounds” for crossbreeds developed by scientists. These trees are planted in our orchard and observed to determine their level of blight resistance. We also harvest the chestnuts and share them with others to plant, as we try to bring back this amazing tree.

To me, the American Chestnut Orchard represents hope for the future. And with your support, I grow even more hopeful. I know that anything is possible when we work together.

So please… take a moment to give online now. Your support of Tyler’s Annual Fund shows that you are willing to invest in the future of Tyler Arboretum.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us how important nature is in our everyday lives. We need Tyler Arboretum more than ever. It is a treasured place to experience the peace and beauty of nature. Together we can ensure it will adapt as the realities of climate change shape our future.

Your $25 Annual Fund gift will help protect the future of Tyler Arboretum’s trees. Together, we can make a difference! Thank you for ALL you are doing to protect our planet from the threat of climate change.

For the love of trees,

Mike Karkowski
Director of Horticulture

P.S.   As the climate in our area changes, our trees are beginning to show greater signs of decline than ever before. Can you donate $25 now to protect the future of Tyler Arboretum’s trees? Your Annual Fund gift (received by May 31) will help ensure Tyler Arboretum remains a place of peace and beauty despite the impact of climate change. Thank you!

Learn more about Climate Change

“Climate change is real, and it impacts all life on our planet. Fortunately, we know the steps we need to take to achieve solutions to this global challenge. We just have to be brave enough to make that commitment. Tyler Arboretum is doing its part to ensure a healthy and sustainable planet for generations to come – and our individual efforts can help Tyler make an even greater impact.”
– Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Sciences at Penn State Brandywine and Tyler Arboretum member, donor, and volunteer

Climate Change Book Recommendations from Dr. Laura Guertin

All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis (anthology edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson)

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World (by Katharine Hayhoe)

Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation (by Paul Hawken)

Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future (by Mary Robinson)

The Book of Hope (by Jane Goodall)

Related Posts on Tyler Arboretum’s Blog

The Need for Community Conversations around Nature and Climate Change(by Dr. Laura Guertin)

Wellness for Nature – Wellness for All (by Bess Trout)

The Need for Community Conversations around Nature and Climate Change (by Dr. Laura Guertin)

Pollen Records, Pollinators and Climate Change (by Dr. Laura Guertin)

Spring Cues and a Changing Climate (by Dr. Laura Guertin and Bess Trout)

A Sticky Future for Maple Trees (by Dr. Laura Guertin)

An Uncertain Future (by Nancy Heinbaugh)