Garden and Gun Magazine features American Heritage Trees

phyllis-tom-hunter-corncribgardengunlogoPreservation Propagators

Tom and Phyllis Hunter

Living on seventy-five acres in Lebanon, Tennessee, once owned by Andrew Jackson might provide enough sense of history for most people. For Tom and Phyllis Hunter, it’s just a start. The property is now home to American Heritage Trees, the couple’s venture to propagate and sell saplings from seeds gathered from a dozen, mostly Southern, historic sites. As if creating an arborist’s version of a fantasy dinner-party guest list, they’ve collected descendants of Southern magnolias from Robert E. Lee’s birthplace in Virginia, red cedars from William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak estate in Mississippi, and burr oaks that a young Samuel Clemens most likely climbed in Missouri. “Each of our trees is an adventure, but I admit getting seeds from Mount Vernon was very exciting,” Tom says. “When the grounds manager handed George Washington’s tree seeds to me, it was a feeling I will never forget.”

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