EFFINGHAM — The Illinois State Historical Society is offering all 102 counties a tree that descends from an original “Johnny Appleseed” tree as part of the state’s 200th birthday celebration.
The Effingham Daily News reports Illinois was dotted with apple trees from John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, in the early 19th century. The state historical society says Chapman’s last-known surviving tree was at a farm in Ohio. An Illinois arboretum co-founder obtained a graft of that tree and grew the 102 bicentennial saplings.
Earlier this month one of the saplings was planted on the lawn of the Effingham County Museum. The county maintenance department will take care of the tree. Officials expect it to start producing fruit within two to three years.
Illinois’ statehood bicentennial is Dec. 3, 2018.