PINNACLE — Arbor Day is not the most high-profile of holidays, but that isn’t keeping a state historic site in Pinnacle from observing the occasion in a special way.
Horne Creek Living Historical Farm will host an Arbor Day apple tree sale on Saturday in honor of North Carolina’s celebration of the holiday on March 17.
Founded in 1872 in Nebraska, Arbor Day is a time in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees, with the date of Arbor Day varying from state to state.
Horne Creek officials are doing their part to further that mission through Saturday’s event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
They will offer for sale to the public some of the farm’s “very special heirloom” apple trees for their own yards or communities.
“We’re trying to encourage people to plant heirlooms for Arbor Day,” Horne Creek Site Manager Lisa Turney explained Wednesday.
She said the farm has sold apple trees before, but this is the first “official sale” tied to Arbor Day.
Horne Creek’s Southern Heritage Apple Orchard has hundreds of varieties to choose from, so buyers should be able to find one that they like, according to officials at the state historic site where visitors learn how North Carolina farms of yesteryear operated.
Turney said that when Horne Creek was founded, one of its core purposes was to preserve heirloom and other varieties of trees which are part of the area’s agricultural heritage.
Jason Bowen, a staff horticulturalist at the site, grafts about 500 trees per year from the farm’s Southern Heritage Apple Orchard. Some are replacement trees for the orchard, with others made available for sale through the efforts of staff members and volunteers who tackle potting and other tasks.
The trees are considered by farm personnel as a great way to celebrate a birthday, holiday, anniversary, new birth, graduation or as a means of employee recognition, and they cite the words of the Arbor Day Foundation:
“Trees planted for you are an act of optimism and kindness, a labor of love and a commitment to stewardship.” In addition, trees are gifts that grow and keep on giving, Horne Creek officials say.
Each tree costs $15, plus sales tax of 7.25 percent. Payments can be made by check or with cash, since Horne Creek is not set up to accept debit or credit cards.
Money generated from the tree sales will aid the upkeep of the Southern Heritage Apple Orchard, thus helping to preserve an integral part of the region’s farming culture.
Horne Living Historical Farm is operated by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of State Historic Sites and Properties. It is located at 308 Horne Creek Farm Road in Pinnacle.
The farm can be reached via the Pinnacle exit (129) off U.S. 52 and following the state historic signs, with more information or directions available at 336-325-2298.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.