RIP: Washington’s Oldest Apple Tree Dies at 194 Years Old
Considering that one of the biggest cash crops in the Yakima Valley are apples, it is a bit surprising that this wasn't bigger news in Eastern Washington. Apparently, without much fanfare, the stat of of Washington's oldest living apple tree has finally died at the ripe old age of 194 years.
The story was first reported on back on June 27, 2020.
The tree, located in Vancouver, WA, finally succumbed to a crack in its trunk which, according to reports, deprived limbs, leaves, flowers and fruit of the necessary nutrients.
According to the entry on the City of Vancouver's website, "Vancouver’s Old Apple Tree is the greatest living symbol of the Pacific Northwest’s orchard industry. Its modest beginning has been traced to the whimsical flirtations of an English woman in 1825.
Historical detectives have learned from diary entries that Lt. Aemilius Simpson, an officer in the Royal Navy, was attending a formal dinner on the eve of his departure to the rugged Pacific Northwest. A young female admirer collected some apple seeds left over from the fruit dessert that evening. She dropped the seeds in Lt. Simpson’s dinner jacket pocket and said, "Plant these when you reach your Northwest wilderness.” Simpson forgot about the seeds during his long sea voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, around Cape Horn and north through the Pacific to the Columbia River."
If you consider that each ring of a tree's trunk represents one trip around the sun, imagine the stories that some of those rings could tell! Since the tree is just 50 years younger than the United States itself, it has survived a LOT! In fact, this pandemic we're all enduring is the SECOND one for that 'ol tree!
Considering all she went through, I think that The Old Apple Tree deserves one more day in the sun! Rest easy and thanks for all the fruit you bared and memories that were shared around you by generation after generation!