Tyler at a Glance

Tyler Arboretum is a non-profit public garden in Delaware County, Pennsylvania serving the Greater Philadelphia region. One of the oldest arboreta in the northeastern United States, Tyler Arboretum encompasses 650 acres of renowned plant collections, heritage and champion trees, historic buildings and 17 miles of hiking trails through woodlands, wetlands and meadows. The Arboretum is open to the public 362 days a year.

Mission

To preserve, develop, and share our diverse horticultural, historic, and natural site resources in order to stimulate stewardship and an understanding of our living world.

Horticulture

  • The Arboretum began as a private horticultural collection developed in the mid-19th century by Minshall and Jacob Painter, two Quaker brothers who owned the historic farmstead.
  • Today the Arboretum features beautiful exhibits of heritage magnolias, cherries, crabapples, hollies and lilacs, as well as 11 acres of rhododendrons and azaleas. Herbs are featured in the Fragrant Garden and the Vegetable Demonstration Garden promotes healthy and delicious eating. An extensive collection of conifers is displayed in the Pinetum. Habitat-based displays include the Native Woodland Walk, Butterfly House and Stopford Family Meadow Maze.

Education

  • School programs serve nearly 7,000 elementary and preschool students from 20 districts in surrounding counties and four states.
  • Life-long adult learners participate in hands-on workshops and classes on gardening, sustainable horticulture and botanical arts as well as field studies about birds and native plants. Kids and families enjoy discovery opportunities exploring plants and nature.
  • Kids get outdoors and have fun learning about the natural world through summer camp, Scout programs and eco-birthday parties.

Natural Lands

  • The Arboretum is steward to 650 acres – over a quarter of the total acreage of privately protected land in Delaware County.
  • Seventeen miles of hiking trails traverse 550 acres of woodland, meadow and stream valleys.
  • Tyler is recognized as an IBA (Important Bird Area) by the National Audubon Society and maintains an active Bluebird nest box program with 47 monitored and maintained boxes.

Exhibits

  • Ten tree houses are open seasonally, generally from April through the end of November.
  • Tyler’s 1,400-square-foot Butterfly House is filled with native butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalis and the plants they depend upon for survival. The House is open in July and August.

History

  • This National Historic Register property passed through eight generations of the Minshall/Painter/Tyler families beginning with its purchase in 1681 from William Penn.
  • The property became a public garden at the bequest of the last family descendent in 1944.
  • Tyler Arboretum oversees the preservation of several historic buildings, including Lachford Hall, a stone Pennsylvania bank barn, the Painter Library and several 19th Century outbuildings including a root cellar, springhouse and greenhouse.
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