Johnny Appleseed

And The Old McMichael Farm

Old McMichael farm

Johnny never took up a permanent residence, preferring to sleep outdoors or in the barns of friendly farmers. Due to his particular personality and vocation, he  travelled extensively all over Ohio to plant and tend to his orchards and nurseries.

In 1821, in exchange for a night’s stay, Johnny planted a tree on Daniel McMichael’s farm located off Beechgrove Road in Bucyrus.  Daniel McMichael’s daughter witnessed and later recounted the apple tree planting by Johnny Appleseed.

In 1937, when the farm was owned by great-grandson B.O. McMichael, the esteemed Davey Tree Expert Company of Kent, Ohio, conducted extensive rehabilitation to prolong the life of this particular Johnny Appleseed tree. 

John Davey, the founder of the Davey Tree Expert Company, is considered the “Father of Tree Surgery.”

The “Before” picture below reveals the large guy-wires supporting the famous tree.  In addition, small twigs circled it, which were actually 25 small apple trees.  These small trees were planted around the old tree to induce strengthening and infuse it with sap.

Davey Tree Expert Company Bulletin, July 1937 Edition. Article on the Rehabilitation Work on the McMichael Farm Apple Tree Planted by Johnny Appleseed in 1821.

After significant rehabilitation work, the McMichael Farm tree produced fruit for another 19 years.  Despite extensive efforts to protect and preserve it, the tree died in 1958.

There are only a few known, original Johnny Appleseed trees still in existence today. However, the legacy of this intrepid American icon who established countless apple tree nurseries and orchards across the midwestern frontier lives on in America’s collective memory. 

Before

McMichael Farm tree rehabilitated by the Davey Tree Expert Company in April 1937. Davey planted 25 small trees around the base to produce strengthening.

This apple tree was originally planted by Johnny Appleseed on the McMichael Farm in 1821.

After

McMichael Farm Tree rehabilitated by the Davey Tree Expert Company in 1937.  After extensive preservation work, the tree was in full bloom by the summer of 1937.

This apple tree was originally planted by Johnny Appleseed on the McMichael Farm in 1821.

McMichael Farm_Mansfield News Journal_April 2_1938 pg 5
McMichael Farm_Bucyrus Forum_October 4_1904

Click on these newspaper images to see close-up references to Johnny Appleseed and his historical connection to Bucyrus.

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