Hazardous trees to be removed from Soldiers’ National Cemetery

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This Fraser Fir is one of the trees that will be removed from the Soldiers’ National Cemetery due to safety concerns. It has a hollow trunk and there is a vertical crack that is further weakening the trunk.

Gettysburg National Military Park (NMP) has contracted with Bartlett Tree Experts to remove several trees from the Soldiers’ National Cemetery that have been identified as potentially hazardous. This is one phase in a multi-phase project to ensure that the trees in the National Cemetery are preserved for as many years as possible. The ten trees identified for removal have aged beyond the point where they can be preserved and must be removed to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, cemetery infrastructure such as structures, walls, and fences, adjoining power lines, roads, and vehicular traffic. Work will begin on Monday, October 2, 2017 and will conclude by Friday, October 6, 2017.

The initial assessment and inventory took place in May, 2017. This work included –

  • identifying trees and assigning each a number
  • identifying the trees’ condition, health, and vigor
  • recommending risk evaluations and removals of appropriate trees
  • recommending tree care, soil care and fertilization, structural support, and pest management treatments to promote tree safety, health, appearance, and longevity
  • mapping the trees using GPSr hardware and Geographic Information System (GIS).

The next phase (likely in late November, 2017) will include cabling of branches in several trees, pruning and thinning of canopies, and the repair and installation of lightning protection in several of the larger trees.

Plans to possibly plant new trees in the National Cemetery will be determined at a later date once the park’s Cultural Landscape Report is complete.

Interpretive programs in the National Cemetery will not be affected.


Additionally, the honey locust witness tree, located near the southeast corner of the cemetery, was not part of this study and will continue to be cared for by park staff.


Jason Martz

Gettysburg National Military Park

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2 Responses to Hazardous trees to be removed from Soldiers’ National Cemetery

  1. Jeffrey Burnett says:

    Don’t plant new ones. Use this as an opportunity to restore the area at least closer to what it was like during the battle.

  2. Jeannine Trybus says:

    This is good news, but sad. I hate to see any changes in Gettysburg, yet I understand things do have to change. We’ll be there on Oct. 10, so will see how it looks.

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