LANCASTER - John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed,
left his Leominster home to plant trees along the American frontier,
but area residents can now bring a living example of his legacy
The Johnny Appleseed Hospitality and Visitors Center on Route 2
in Lancaster is selling saplings, offspring from a tree that the
folk hero planted in Ohio, along with other trees with historical
Nancy K. Dell, tourism manager of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association,
explained the tree's history. Five years ago, Ohio resident Phyllis
Algeo discovered documentation which showed that Chapman had planted
an Albemarle pippin apple tree that was still living on her farm.
American Forest, a Jacksonville, Fla., company, placed the tree
on its register of historic trees and used cuttings from the tree
to start sapling trees, which are now for sale.
"It's a great history lesson," said Dell. She added that
a storm destroyed the old tree in 1996, but "the tree wasn't
totally lost, because of the offspring."
THE WHOLE KIT AND KABOODLE
The tree kit costs $35, and includes the tree itself (about 1 to
3 feet), a growing tube, stake, fertilizer tablets, a net to protect
the tree from birds, planting instructions and a certificate of
authenticity. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee, Dell said.
American Forest sells a wide array of trees with historical ancestry,
including trees located at important sites such as Independence
Hall in Philadelphia, as well as homes and grave sites of American
presidents, war heroes and literary figures, among others. Many
of those trees can be ordered through the Visitors Center, which
began selling them last August.
"The response has been good," said Dell. "I'm excited
about this program."