The roots of Tennessee’s history are often buried deep in fertile soil. If trees could talk… what a story they could tell. Some of Tennessee’s most famous trees stand witness to the winds of change sweeping across our great state in times of trouble and times of tranquility. It’s why the Tennessee Urban Forest Council keeps a registry to document and preserve such plantings as the ones at President Andrew Johnson’s old homestead up in Greenville.
Over the years several cuttings have been given to various people and places. In 1934one section of the willow was presented to the National Historical Grove at Anacostia Park, in Washington, D.C. Then, in December of 2000 cuttings from the Johnson willow were actually shipped back to St. Helena after the tree at Napoleon’s tomb died. We are told the cuttings were wrapped in copies of The Greeneville Sun newspaper and soaked in water from the gum spring at the Johnson homestead.