Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery

For the Love of Trees II

For The Love of Trees II

Please join us to support Phase II of the restoration of the 1894 Dickson Memorial Chapel. Chapel viewing is from 9:30AM-12:30PM. We will be selling our tee shirts and hoodies by the Orne Street side gate. We will fill all orders that were placed at our last event and have plenty more to sell. All funds go toward the restoration of the Chapel.

Come learn and hear all about some special trees in Greenlawn, the arboretum collaboration and some tree history!

We will also be sharing an update on the restoration of the 1894 Dickson Memorial Chapel. We are currently working on restoring two right side entrance stained glass windows. There will be Greenlawn & Chapel history being shared at the front doors of the Chapel from 9:30AM-12:30PM.

We are offering two tree strolls. One guided tree stroll is @ 11AM by Charlie Lipson and that will include some arboretum information and the other guided tree stroll is around Sargent Pond @ 12 noon with Salem’s most knowledgeable tree guru, Chris Burke.

Please come and appreciate one of Salem’s best hidden, beautiful, rural, historic gems and accredited arboretum known as Greenlawn Cemetery. This event is free. Donations are appreciated. Thank you for your support. The Friends of Greenlawn

All current pandemic rules apply and masks are required in Greenlawn. Viewing of the Chapel and our ability to be outside for this event is weather dependent. Fingers crossed it is a good day!

The Friends of Greenlawn.

Updated Cemetery Map

Map last updated on 01/05/21

This is the free Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery map that we put out by the cemetery office. It has been put up here so others can share, see and use it during this non contact time. It was recently redone to make it easier to donate. If you open your PayPal app and take a picture of the QR code it will bring you directly to the Friends of Greenlawn donation page. We are currently fundraising for Phase II of the restoration of the Dickson Memorial Chapel. We are fully restoring the two right side stained glass windows and wood trim by the front door. We only need $15,000.00 to complete this project!

Thank you for your support!

Friends of Greenlawn Trails & Sails

Thank you to everyone that helped make the Friends of Greenlawn Trails & Sails event yesterday a big success! It turned out to be a beautiful day. It was so nice to meet so many wonderful, kind neighbors and Greenlawn fans.

If you missed out, this is an online event and you can complete it at anytime. Click here to participate. This challenge is intended to be a fun way to learn about history & nature while gaining a deeper appreciation of our rural cemetery and the importance of preserving and protecting it. Check out more at: Trails and Sails 

This event is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. We are working toward restoring two more beautiful stained glass windows on the Dickson Memorial Chapel.

We sold so many hoodies, tee shirts and ball caps we are placing a dream order. If you want something specific, please reach out to

Think ahead as the holiday season is coming. Thank you for your support. All proceeds go toward the restoration of the Chapel. We are making a difference all working together!

Additional Ways To Donate Online


We are now on Pateron! By supporting creators you love on Patreon, like Friends of Greenlawn you’re becoming an active participant in our creative process. As a member, you receive exclusive content, community access, behind-the-scenes updates, and the pride of fueling work that matters to you. Here is how you can become a Patreon Member.

You now can support Friends of Greenlawn by becoming a Patreon Member.

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Please pardon the overnight email…

We’d like to apologize for the WordPress notification email sent out to subscribers overnight.  If you subscribe to our blog, then you may have noticed an email announcing a “new post” – the post contained within the email is actually from the early days of the group and was originally published over 7 years ago.

The new post that was actually published is a friendly reminder about today’s “For the Love of Trees, History, and Greenlawn” event being held at the Dickson Memorial Chapel from 9:30AM-1:00PM.  That post can be read here:

At this time, it is not clear why this happened but it is being looked into.


For the love of trees, history, and Greenlawn!

Good morning, folks!

Today is the day – our event, “For the Love of Trees, History, and Greenlawn” is happening at the Dickson Memorial Chapel just past the main office at Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem, MA.

The chapel will open at 9:30AM for viewing and be open until 1:00PM – visitors are welcome to drop in at any time during that period.  The event kicks off at 10:00AM with a tree planting followed by a tree stroll.  There will be a raffle, a silent auction, live folk music, and FOG items/photo cards/postcards/past tour books & DVDs for sale.  We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events for September

Trees are beginning to show their autumn colors and we’re excited to share that we’ve got a busy week ahead of us.


September 24th – Monthly Meeting

On this upcoming Tuesday, September 24th, at 6:30PM, we will be having our regular monthly meeting at the Jean A. Levesque Community Life Center located at 401 Bridge St, Salem, MA


September 26th – Salem City Council Meeting

Come support the restoration of the Dickson Memorial Chapel and the arboretum collaboration at the Salem City Council meeting on Thursday, September 26th at 7:00PM. The meeting will be held at Salem City Hall located at 93 Washington St, Salem, MA.


September 28th – Fall Event

On Saturday, September 28th, we will be having our fall event, “For the Love of Trees and History” at Greenlawn Cemetery located at 57 Orne St, Salem, MA. Come learn about the trees located within Greenlawn and hear some tree history. The Dickson Memorial Chapel will open at 9:30AM for viewing until 1:00PM. The event kicks off at 10:00AM.

Announcement – online donations are an option now!


We are now accepting donations online via PayPal!  By clicking on this link – PayPal – you can conveniently donate by logging in to your PayPal account and using the “Send money” function. By choosing “Send to a friend” the transaction is free to both you and Friends of Greenlawn.  If you do not have an account, they’re free to create from PayPal’s website (same link as above).

Please use our email address – – when donating through PayPal.

We also are still accepting donations through the mail.  More information about that can be found by clicking on the “Donate” link at the top of our homepage.

(Note: we are working on getting a PayPal button onto the site that will make it easier to donate this way without all the extra steps.  We thank you for your patience and will update as soon as that happens.)

Guide to planting your Arbor Day Foundation tree seedling


If you visited our table at the Salem Arts Festival on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 and you were the lucky recipient of a tree seedling, then you’re in the right place.  This post contains important planting and care instructions for your baby Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) or Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea).

Shameless plug here for Greenlawn’s Tree Inventory Map but I promise it’s relevant – if you’d like to see what these seedlings have the potential to grow up to be, come by the cemetery to check out mature specimens of Tuliptree and Scarlet Oak.  Use the map to find each tree’s location within the cemetery.

Tree Planting & Care Guide

This information pertains to both species of trees given out at the festival.

The seedling you have received came from the Arbor Day Foundation and so their instructions for planting and care are what is recommended and linked to below.  Also, both tree species offered as seedlings are native to Massachusetts and other selected areas of New England and as such should fare well if planted locally.

Comprehensive Tree Planting & Care Guide – this link provides all the information you will need to know in order to plant your seedling and help it to grow strong and tall in the years to come; Arbor Day Foundation also provides video instruction on how to care for your seedling; feel free to click around and learn as there’s a ton of information here that will help you and your tree on your new journey together.

Bare root planting guide – the seedlings you received are what is known as “bare root trees” meaning that instead of being in soil with a root system balled up into a burlap sack or a container, the roots are free and simply dipped into a hydrating gel that keeps the roots moist until planting; the main planting & care guide provides all sorts of information for all three types of prepared seedlings/saplings but this link is specifically for the seedlings you received from us at the Salem Arts Festival.  If you are in need of an easily printable version of the planting guide for bare root trees, Arbor Day Foundation provides a downloadable PDF copy – they link to it at the top of their bare root planting guide page.

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Tuliptree leaf in waning autumn colors with a bit of the parent tree’s bark in the right background; photo taken in late October 2013

Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Here’s some more information about Tuliptrees from the Arbor Day Foundation and a few other handy plant databases.

Arbor Day Foundation’s nursery listing for Tuliptree – this link provides some basic information about Tuliptrees.

Go Botany’s listing for Tuliptree – this website is actually a database project headed up by the Native Plant Trust (formerly known as the New England Wildflower Society) with support from the National Science Foundation; Go Botany’s main site is also an excellent resource for information on native and naturalized trees (and other plants) growing within the six New England states (MA, ME, NH, CT, RI, VT); plenty of photos with each species listing to oogle at and use to help identify unknown specimens.

Virginia Tech’s Dendrology Fact Sheet for Tuliptree – this is a direct link to the fact sheet for Tuliptree; the parent site offers a lot of useful information on trees with a fact sheet database for over 450 different tree species as well as a handy tree ID app for Android and iOS.

USDA’s PLANTS Database page on Tuliptree – this is the listing in the national database run by the US Dept. of Agriculture; each species listing page also provides downloadable fact sheets in PDF form for that species, as well as photos, conservation status, maps, and information on how it benefits local wildlife.

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The rich autumnal coloring of the aptly named Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea); photo taken in late October 2013

Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)

Here’s some more information about Scarlet Oaks from the Arbor Day Foundation and a few other handy plant databases.  Databases below are the same as ones mentioned above, only this time the links bring you directly to the Scarlet Oak listings (and not the listings for Tuliptrees).

Arbor Day Foundation’s nursery listing for Scarlet Oak – this link provides some basic information about Scarlet Oaks.

Go Botany’s listing for Scarlet Oak – here’s Go Botany’s database listing for Scarlet Oaks

Virginia Tech’s Dendrology Fact Sheet for Scarlet Oak – this is a direct link to VT’s fact sheet for Scarlet Oak.

USDA’s PLANTS Database page on Scarlet Oak – USDA’s database listing for Scarlet Oak.


Exciting news you won’t be-leaf – a special collaboration fir the trees!


Signage on a Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) located next to the office building near Greenlawn Cemetery’s Orne St entrance

Oak-kay, we’ve got some tree-mendous news to share that yew just wood-n’t be-leaf!

Did you know that one of Greenlawn Cemetery’s coolest treasures are its trees?

That’s right.  This urban gem is home to hundreds of trees of all sorts of species, ranging from the common native and naturalized trees you can see just about everywhere locally to the non-native and exotic trees that originally hail from lands far beyond our shores.  A leisurely stroll around Sargent Pond will take you beneath the outstretched branches of the Korean Mountain-ash (Sorbus alnifolia), native to northern and eastern China, Japan, and the Korean peninsula.  Continue walking and just before you pass beneath another Korean Mountain-ash, you will encounter the Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), a tree native to the eastern, mid-western, and southeastern US but whose native range stops just short of Massachusetts, reaching only into Connecticut.  Continue  walking around Greenlawn Cemetery and you will notice some Massachusetts natives like the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubrum), Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus), and the increasingly rare Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis).  As you can imagine, the vast collection of species and specimens growing within the cemetery have already made Greenlawn an arboretum.

Now for the cool news – back in March, the City of Salem’s Cemetery Commission gave the green light for a collaboration between Salem State University, the City of Salem, and the Friends of Greenlawn to seek accreditation for Greenlawn Cemetery as a Level I arboretum through ArbNet‘s Arboretum Accreditation Program.  ArbNet is a global network of tree-focused folks that offers the only international accreditation program specifically focused on woody plants, ie., trees.  Any arboretum and public space with a substantial focus on these plants can apply for accreditation at a level that suits them.  There are are four levels in total, each recognizing arboretums at various stages of development and achievement.  Here in Massachusetts we have less than 15 arboretums of any level – it would be an honor to have Greenlawn listed among the few and to have the cemetery’s tree collection be recognized formally.  This recognition would also be helpful in obtaining grants and other funding for the continued restoration and preservation efforts within the cemetery.  It would also provide educational opportunities and a means for the community to become more involved.

If you would like to be involved in the arboretum collaboration, please use our contact form here to find out more information on how to get in contact with the Salem State University staff heading up this effort.