Do Any of the Trees Planted by Johnny Appleseed Still Exist?

Every American schoolchild knows the story of Johnny Appleseed, the pioneer who spent years starting orchards and nurseries throughout the Midwest. Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman, saw a great need for Americans to start conservation efforts, so he walked mile after mile spreading apple seeds.

One of the apple trees planted in Ohio by Johnny Appleseed in the 1840s is still producing fruit.
One of the apple trees planted in Ohio by Johnny Appleseed in the 1840s is still producing fruit.

But while many museums and historical sites are devoted to Appleseed, you have to visit a small town in Ohio to see the last remaining relic of his efforts.

Savannah, Ohio, has only about 400 people, but it also has a 150-year-old apple tree planted by Johnny Appleseed -- and it's still producing fruit. According to Dick Sommer, who works at the local museum dedicated to Appleseed, the tree is still alive and well thanks to its location: above an underground aquifer.

Another resident, Barbara Morgan, says that the tree never stops delivering. "It gives us tons of apples," she said. "Last summer, we had to cut some branches off and prop others up with poles because we feared the weight of the apples would break the branches."

More than a tree planter

  • Johnny Appleseed walked more than 100,000 miles (160,934 km) and ended up owning 1,200 acres of land.

  • The apples on the trees Johnny Appleseed planted were for making cider and alcohol, not for eating -- they were quite tart.

  • Johnny Appleseed loved animals and reportedly even regretted making campfires because bugs would fly into the flames.

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