America's Famous and Historic Trees: From George Washington's Tulip Poplar to Elvis Presley's Pin Oak

America's Famous and Historic Trees: From George Washington's Tulip Poplar to Elvis Presley's Pin Oak

by Jeffrey G. Meyer, Sharon Linnea
     
 

Like many residents of Jacksonville, Florida, the Jeffrey Meyers family liked to picnic under the city's magnificent Treaty Live Oak. When their toddler handed them an acorn from the tree, Meyers, a nurseryman, planted it in their back yard.
That acorn was the inspiration for an immensely popular project, America's Famous & Historic Trees, sponsored by American

Overview

Like many residents of Jacksonville, Florida, the Jeffrey Meyers family liked to picnic under the city's magnificent Treaty Live Oak. When their toddler handed them an acorn from the tree, Meyers, a nurseryman, planted it in their back yard.
That acorn was the inspiration for an immensely popular project, America's Famous & Historic Trees, sponsored by American Forests, the country's oldest nonprofit conservation organization. Through this program, Meyers and his volunteers have collected seeds from more than a thousand different historic trees, which are grown to sapling size in the project's nursery. The descendants of these famous trees have been planted on the grounds of state capitols, in schoolyards, and in back yards across the country. In this fascinating book, Meyers tells the stories of seventeen historic trees, describes their role in America's history, and tells how their seeds were collected and their offspring propagated. For readers who want to grow a replica of an important tree themselves, each chapter contains instructions for planting the seeds of that particular species.
Among the trees in this book are the Indian Marker Pecan, dating back to the 1600s, when Comanche warriers would mark a good camping spot by tying a young pecan tree to the ground. At the other end of the time line is the Moon Sycamore, grown from seeds that traveled to the moon in 1971 on Apollo 14.
Trees associated with presidents are George Washington's Tulip Poplar, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Honey Locust, Andrew Jackson's Southern Magnolia (planted at the White House in memory of his wife), and John F. Kennedy's Post Oak, which grows beside his grave at Arlington National Cemetery. Most of the original trees still stand, but in some cases all that remains of their place in history are the seeds propagated by Meyers and his group. These include the last Johnny Appleseed Rambo Apple tree and the last Lewis and Clark Cottonwood.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Meyer is practical as well as poetic . . . wonderful, textured stories."

The Chicago Tribune

"Its message can be followed all year: Plant trees as a legacy for the future." Atlanta Journal Constitution

"History buffs and tree enthusiasts alike will enjoy this book. . ." American Gardener

Jeffrey Meyer is a 21st-century Johnny Appleseed. Over the last several years, Meyers has been gathering the saplings of famous American trees and selling them to patriotic planters throughout the United States. America's Famous and Historic Trees explains his plant evangelism and reintroduces us to the trees behind his magnificent obsession. In addition to historical notes about trees such as the George Washington Tulip Poplar, the Andrew Jackson Southern Magnolia, and the Walden Woods Red Maple, Meyer and coauthor Sharon Linnea instruct readers on growing these national treasures right in the backyard. You can even select his-and-her shade givers; for example, the Amelia Earhart Sugar Maple could counterpoint the Wyatt Earp Black Walnut.
Chicago Tribune
Meyer is practical as well as poetic . . . wonderful, textured stories.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Its message can be followed all year: Plant trees as a legacy for the future.
Don Henley
Jeff Meyer makes the act of growing a tree irresistible, with the help of the images and stories of some of this country's most wonderful old specimens. For yourself, your children, your earth, read this book and grow some trees!
Robert D. Ballard
When I was growing up, my grandmother told me of a saying she attributed to Johnny Appleseed: 'Great is the person who plants a tree, knowing he will need to sit in its shade.' I hope after reading this book, you will be inspired to plant a tree.
Cherie Lucks
Jeff Meyer is the twenty-first century's own Johnny Appleseed. He has a huge, infectious love of trees, and his passion for the preservation of our historical legacy through trees is a tremendous inspiration.
Dale Chihuly
I applaud this book and the efforts of American Forests in sharing the many stories of trees that have been witness to historical periods in America.
Library Journal
A decade ago, Meyer, a history buff and nurseryman who planted trees in new housing developments in Florida, had an inspiration to gather seeds from famous trees throughout the country and make the saplings available for people to plant in their own yards. He proposed this idea to the nation's oldest conservation organization, American Forests, and with their encouragement, founded the Famous and Historic Trees Project. Here, Meyer focuses on 17 of these trees, including the Frederick Douglass white oak and the Walden Woods red maple. For each tree, he provides abundant historical background, a description of its distinct qualities, detailed instructions on how to grow it from seed, and suggestions about where to plant it. Numerous illustrations enliven the text, and a 16-page color insert provides photographs of all the trees described. Because of its somewhat narrow focus, this is recommended for larger American history collections as well as landscape gardening collections. Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618068913
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.72(w) x 11.16(h) x 0.67(d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey G. Meyer is the project director of American Forest's Famous and Historic Trees, which helps support programs to plant trees in cities and on damaged public lands. He has been a professional tree farmer since 1983 but has been growing trees for his own pleasure since he was five. He conducts tree-planting events with students across the country, lectures to thousands of garden club members nationally, and regularly appears on radio and television.

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