Preserving the Legacy of a Historical Liberty Tree

Preserving the Legacy of a Historical Liberty Tree

Imagine encountering a living piece of American history dating back to colonial times; the last standing Liberty Tree of the original 13 colonies. Although it has since been damaged and removed from the St. John’s College campus, you may be able to visit descendants of the last surviving Liberty Tree in the future.

Retired forester Champ Zumbrun has been trying to germinate descendants of the Liberty Tree, a yellow tulip poplar, for over two years. He called in Davey’s Chesapeake Bay tree services to help make his vision reality by gathering seedlings from the second generation tulip poplar.  

Volunteer crews from Davey arrived with a certified arborist and aerial truck to assist. The crew was responsible for removing seeds from the top of the tulip poplar; the seeds would only be accessible from an aerial truck. Zumbrun is working to cultivate the seedlings in a laboratory. If there is successful germination, the seedlings will be planted in the ground.

As District Manager Craig Ritter said, “I would love to see how much offspring they can create and see where they are put to be used by future generations.” 

The original Liberty Tree stood on the St. John’s campus until 1999 when a hurricane destroyed it. Legend has it that colonial Marylanders would discuss their British rebellion under that exact tree.

What’s your favorite historical tree? We would love to see! Comment below to let us know what your favorite historical tree is or send us a photo.

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