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Haverford College
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Arboretum: Ryan Pinetum Virtual Tour

This tour will introduce you to 15 different conifers among the over 300 labeled trees in the 18-acre Pinetum, "a scientific collection of living coniferous trees" as defined by Webster's Dictionary.

If you were to visit the campus, you could reach the Pinetum from the Visitors' Parking Lot by way of the Nature Trail, and enjoy a 1.4-mile walk around this green oasis of meadow and trees. From one of several benches, you could look for the red-tailed hawk above the trees and watch for activity around the bluebird boxes.

History of the Ryan Pinetum

The Campus Club, established in 1901 by Haverford College alumni and faculty to preserve the beauty of the campus, first envisioned "a comprehensive planting of trees" in 1928. Members spent the next two decades transplanting hundreds of young conifers into a scientific collection arranged by family and genus. Over the years, the trees have matured, and many more have been added. In the late 1980s, volunteers Nancy and Dick Ryan led a team to inventory and label the trees. In appreciation, the area's largest and finest collection of mature conifers was officially dedicated as the Ryan Pinetum in April 1993.

What is a conifer?

Trees are classified as either Angiosperms, flowering trees, or Gymnosperms, cone-bearing trees. The latter, conifers, all develop their seeds in cones (except yews and junipers which have fleshy seeds); have needle-like foliage (except cypresses which have scale-like foliage); and retain that foliage year-round (except, in our area, larches, golden-larches, dawn redwoods and baldcypresses.)

Botanists have classified conifers into seven families. In Haverford College's Pinetum you will find trees in the following five families and (genera):

  • Cephalotaxaceae: Plum yew (Cephalotaxus)
  • Cupressaceae: Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis), Juniper (Juniperus), Arborvitae (Thuja) and Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis)
  • Pinaceae: Fir (Abies), Cedar (Cedrus), Larch (Larix), Spruce (Picea), Pine (Pinus), Golden-larch (Pseudolarix), Douglasfir (Pseudotsuga) and Hemlock (Tsuga)
  • Taxodiaceae: Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria), Chinafir (Cunninghamia), Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron), Baldcypress (Taxodium)
  • Taxaceae: Yew (Taxus)

Select a Tree to Begin the Tour

  1. Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica)
  2. Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
  3. Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
  4. Chinafir (Cunninghamia lanceolata)
  5. Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata)
  6. Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)
  7. Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi)
  8. Hinoki Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)
  9. American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
  10. Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora)
  11. Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda)
  12. Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis)
  13. Carolina Hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana)
  14. Douglasfir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
  15. White Fir (Abies concolor)