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Where in the Valley: Rooted in Revolution

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Where in the Hudson Valley…?

There are plenty of trees in the Hudson Valley, so this young plant doesn’t exactly stand out; however, as the old saying goes, appearances can be deceiving. This sapling, a tulip poplar planted in late 2008, has roots extending 250 years into United States history.
This tree was cultivated from the longest surviving Liberty Tree, which stood in Annapolis, Maryland. The Sons of Liberty — a group of  colonists that originally formed in opposition to the Stamp Act of 1765 — used these trees extensively during the Revolutionary War. Composed of traders and workers, the Sons would tie poles to certain trees in their towns, and raise red flags in order to signal group meetings. Banners hung from the branches and handbills posted on the trunks often conveyed anti-British sentiments. The vast numbers and fearless tactics of the Sons helped the colonies to gain their independence from Great Britain; thus, the Liberty Trees became symbols of freedom and patriotism.

Although the Annapolis tree survived a violent revolution (not to mention more than 200 years of mid-Atlantic weather), it was eventually damaged during Hurricane Floyd and taken down in 1999. Seedlings from the tree were collected and sent out to each of the 13 original colonies and to the White House for plantation. The mid-Valley location for New York’s young Liberty Tree was chosen because of the vital role it played in the Revolution — you can be certain that Washington slept here many nights.

If you think you know where this Liberty Tree sapling is sprouting, then write your answer as a comment in the box below. The first reader with the correct response wins a prize. Good luck!

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