In 1630, the Puritan settler and Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Endicott, planted one of the first fruit trees to be cultivated in the New World. Today, Endicott’s pear tree still stands – having survived multiple hurricanes, earthquakes, suburban sprawl, and even attacks by vandals.
Not only is the Endicott Pear is still bearing fruit 383 years after it was first planted, but throughout the centuries it’s been recognized for its historic value by poets, historians, and even Presidents. The tree was already old in 1809, when John Adams received a special delivery of its fruit — which has been described as tart and good for baking pies, but not for eating straight off the tree.
If you’d like to take a look back into the earliest history of the US, the tree lies just off Boston‘s Route 128, safely tucked away behind a protective fence. Scientists have also found another way to protect and preserve this historic tree — the USDA’s National Clonal Germplasm Repository successfully produced a clone of the Endicott Pear in 1997.