PINEVILLE, Mo. — One of the most unique trees in America, in terms of its historic significance, is showing signs of “branching out” after Pineville city officials initially said it was vandalized.
Pineville, Missouri, recognized as a “Tree City,” received the special “Tulip Poplar” in 2017 by the Arbor Day Foundation.
It was then planted by the Missouri 4-H in the Pineville bike park along Big Sugar Creek Road.
In July of this year, the tree was heavily damaged by what Pineville city officials thought was vandalism.
While the Pineville Marshal’s Office worked to find out what or who damaged the priceless living piece of history, a leaf from the Tulip Poplar was sent to a nearby arbor nursery in an attempt to save as much of the tree as possible.
The bottom portion of the tree was carefully reshaped and is now sprouting new leaves and branches.
After a thorough investigation by the Pineville Marshal’s Office, it was determined that the tree was damaged by what the Marshal’s Office described as a child.
Why This Tree Is So Special
The historically important Pineville Poplar started out as a seedling and was grafted from the last standing “Revolutionary Era Liberty Tree,” which dates back to the 18th Century, during the time of the Revolutionary War.
“The Liberty Tree was called that, because back during the Revolutionary War, they actually gathered up folks and said, ‘hey, go to this tree.’ That would be where people gathered up to fight during the Revolutionary War, so they nicknamed them Revolutionary Trees. These trees were good meeting spots because they were just huge, huge shade trees, and were easy to spot from a distance,” said Pineville Mayor, Gregg Sweeten.
The tree that produced the one you can now find in Pineville, was a 400-year-old Tulip Poplar from Annapolis, Maryland, which was destroyed by hurricane-force winds in 1999.
Several seedlings were grafted from that last standing “Revolutionary Era Liberty Tree,” and distributed to cities across the country, including Pineville.
The Pineville Parks and Recreation Department is tasked with taking special care of the tree, by closely monitoring its growth and making sure it receives the ideal amount of water and nutrients.
Mayor Sweeten said he’s excited to see the tree thriving once more, despite the damage it suffered.
You can find the original story that was first reported on Fourstateshomepage.com, HERE.