Saplings share history of iconic Americans

historictrees_038By Ken Beck, The Wilson Postwilsonpost

Inside a 30-foot-by-60-foot structure near Gladeville, a miniature forest of 5,000 saplings reaches skyward, each plant biding its time, awaiting the opportunity to help pass along the story of a great American.

About one year ago on their Rice Farm at Riceland, Tom and Phyllis Hunter took the initial steps in creating American Heritage Trees. In early October their non-profit organization will begin offering their first fruits, saplings raised from the seeds of mother trees, some nearly 300 years old, from the grounds of historic sites linked to legends like George Washington, Robert Frost, Mark Twain, Helen Keller and William Faulkner.

“It’s a pretty tall order to start from scratch,” admits Tom, 66, who is surrounded by living legacies in the midst of his propagation house where 15 species of trees from 13 locations range from a couple of inches high to 6-feet tall.

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