This is cool. I’d read that big trees like Sequoias lived for this long, but I didn’t realize fruit trees could, too. This one was planted in 1630 by John Endicott.
When the first European settlers stepped foot on Plymouth Rock in 1620, the landscape they encountered must have felt like the epitome of wildness. In time, of course, cottages and farmhouses, roads and footpaths would sprout up even there as ‘civilization’ took root. But little could they have guessed, from those fragile early shoots, that the whole wild continent would be tamed in just a few short centuries.
It may be hard to believe, however, but one of America’s earliest settlers is still alive today — and still bearing fruit after 383 years.
Among the first wave of immigrants to the New World was an English Puritan named John Endicott, who in 1629, arrived to serve as the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Charged with the task of establishing a welcoming setting for new arrivals upon the untamed land, the Pilgrim leader set about making the area around modern-day Salem as homey as possible.
In approximately 1630, as his children watched on, Endicott planted one of the first fruit trees to be cultivated in America: a pear sapling imported from across the Atlantic. He is said to have declared at the time: “I hope the tree will love the soil of the old world and no doubt when we have gone the tree will still be alive.”
The tree did outlive all witnesses to its planting — as well as generations and generations that followed.