Magazine article American Forests

Johnny Appleseed Birthday Tour

Magazine article American Forests

Johnny Appleseed Birthday Tour

Article excerpt

John "Appleseed" Chapman, one of America's most beloved cultural icons, was born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774. More than a folklore legend, he was a naturalist, a humanitarian, and a skilled nurseryman with a pioneer's spirit.

In the 1790s Chapman moved west, traveling through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, where he planted apple orchards and tree nurseries, earning him the nickname Johnny Appleseed. John Chapman had a passion for planting trees since childhood, when he worked for a neighbor's orchard. The last living tree Chapman planted grows on the Algeo Farm in Nova, Ohio near Ashland. In 1845, he was buried in Archer Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In the 1990s AMERICAN FORESTS teamed up with The Johnny Appleseed Museum to grow the Johnny Appleseed tree. Softwood cuttings were taken from the last living tree and grafted onto apple rootstock. Authentic second generation saplings were grown and made available through AMERICAN FORESTS' Historic Tree program.

In 2009, the museum and AMERICAN FORESTS decided to plant the Johnny Appleseed trees at the original apple orchard and nursery sites. The Johnny Appleseed Birthday Tour was developed to honor his works and repopulate the orchards and nurseries he planted two hundred years ago.

The 2nd Annual Johnny Appleseed Birthday Tour--starting September 19th, 2010 in Fort Wayne, Indiana--will make seven stops in Ohio and Indiana. It will close with a birthday party at The Johnny Appleseed Museum at Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio on September 26th, Johnny's 236th birthday. Each stop on the tour will include a ceremonial tree planting and guest speakers.

The Johnny Appleseed Museum and AMERICAN FORESTS plan to add more cities to the 2011 tour. "The [tour and party are] both educational and entertaining. It is a great, tangible event that reminds us about the importance of preserving our environment in the U. …

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