Friday, January 23, 2009

Liberty Tree

During this presidential inauguration week many Americans are feeling very good about their country. I have saw many speak and write about how proud they are of our flag. This reminded me of our countries quest for liberty and how our first patriots chose as the emblem on their flag the White Pine. The tallest tree in eastern North America has been, and still is very valuable for timber. It seems that in colonial times the British navy were in need of very straight tall trees for the ships masts. White Pines in those days could be found in heights over 200 feet tall. Many of these trees were claimed and marked by the British. Colonists could not harvest them, even on their own land. So as a symbol of defiance these original patriots seeking their freedom used an emblem of the White Pine to stir up the cause of liberty, fight, and die for.

In Iredell county we are on the very southern tip of the White Pines native range. They are rare here in their native state, and many landowners and homeowners alike do not plant them anymore. They do not like wet feet, prefering to be on a slope with well drained (aka) rocky soil around them. White pines are very well behaved and one of our most beautiful and valuable trees if given the right conditions to thrive. White Pine's are very beneficial to wildlife also for a source of evergreen cover as well as the seed being a food source for birds and mammals. They are the only 5 needle pine native to North America. This tree is on the property of Joe Mullis and is as defiant as its ancestors.


  1. i didn´t know about this. it's wonderful to have such a magestic tree as a symbol of freedom, since the birth of yr country!
    it's a pitty that this tradition's near end, i suppose it's a sign of times: people like too much controling things, and this is a monster tree so it doesn't 'fit'...
    anyway i love this huge trees you have in northen america, they are gorgeous and seem eternal to human time standarts!

  2. You've really got me interested in trees! Have you ever read Donald Culross Peattie's A Natureal History of Trees? He has two volumes (that I know of) one covering eastern and central North America and the other covers the west. He writes beautifully about the history of our lovely native trees. I'm going to pick up my book and read more about White Pines tonight. Thanks for the enjoyable and timely post.