The original Liberty Tree was a gathering place for patriots during the Revolution in Boston.
The massive tree's dense foliage provided cover and kept these freedom loving patriots from being easily spotted by the British. Realizing the tree's valuable political symbolism, British soldiers destroyed it in 1775. Other Liberty Trees continued to be used as symbolic meeting places for local patriots throughout the colonies, however.
The last original Liberty Tree stood on the campus of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, the alma mater of Francis Scott Key.
In 1999, the nearly 600 year old 96-foot tulip popular was damaged by Hurricane Floyd and was felled. Maryland resident and landscaper, Mark Mehnert, rescued the historic wood. Roughly half of the Liberty Tree wood was purchased by Taylor Guitars in 2000.
The Providence Forum acquired the remaining Liberty Tree wood in 2001 and began a new project focused on preservation and education.
We've pioneered the development of gifts honoring American history and American Heroes, and have helped preserve the legacy of the Liberty Trees through a bud-grafting program.
Prior to its death, 14 seedlings were successfully germinated from the last Liberty Tree through a project spearheaded by the nonprofit conservation organization American Forests. The seedlings were planted throughout the original 13 colonies. In order to further preserve the legacy of the Liberty Trees, a bud-grafting program was launched, through which several bud-grafted trees were grown. To date, the Providence Forum has planted trees in the following locations: