CEDAR COUNTY 4-H PLANTS LIBERTY TREE – Cedar County 4-H’ers met at 10 am on Saturday, April 27th to plant Cedar County’s very own Liberty Tree in the Stockton City Park.  The tree was planted where a panel of the former traveling Vietnam Veteran’s wall and other tributes to veterans will be located in the future.

You may ask, what in the world is a Liberty Tree?  The original Liberty Tree was a famous elm that stood near Boston Common during the Revolutionary era.  In 1765, the Sons of Liberty, a group of American colonists, staged the first act of defiance against British rule under this tree.  During the war, several other towns designated their own Liberty Trees as support for the resistance spread throughout the colonies, and these Liberty Trees became symbols of American Independence.  The last original Liberty Tree, a Tulip Poplar, stood on the grounds of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, until 1999 when it died during Hurricane Floyd.  Prior to its death, 14 seedlings were successfully germinated from the tree through a project spearheaded by the non-profit conservation organization American Forests.  The seedlings were planted throughout the original 13 colonies.

In order to preserve the legacy of the Liberty Tree, a bud-grafting program was launched.  Thanks to the generosity of Crader Distributing and local STIHL dealers, each year 20 bud-grafted Tulip Poplar trees are donated to Missouri 4-H Clubs to be planted in public places throughout Missouri.  “The original Liberty Tree survived for more than four hundred years,” said Stan Crader, president of Crader Distributing, “and our desire is for these trees to survive for several generations as living symbols of liberty, citizenship and community service.”

“Cedar County 4-H is honored to be selected one of the recipients of a Liberty Tree this spring,” said MU Extension County Engagement Specialist for 4-H Youth Development Tammy Ikerd.  “We want to thank Stockton Mayor Mary Norel for her suggestion to plant the tree in an area that honors our armed forces veterans, and Raymond Heryford for assisting with the planting.”

For more information on the Liberty Tree, contact the Cedar County MU Extension Center at 417-276-3313 or by email at cedarco@missouri.edu.