Living Arbor

As you may have heard, much has been happening with our dance arbor and circle at Skyline Drive in Saltsburg. What you may not have known, is that the changes being made date back nearly 100 million years! How is that?

After determining that our current arbor was in need of some reconstruction, and a facelift, we decided to teardown and rebuild! After a short day of hard work and determination (thank you to the young men from Kiski that helped out so much!), it was decided that we would create a living arbor. This living arbor would grow alongside us, year after year, and provide the same amenities that our handmade arbor had in the past. So what makes this change 100 million years old? Sycamore.

The sycamore tree is one of the oldest trees indigenous to this area. The history that comes with the tree is nearly as old and strong. Whether it was George Washington and his men camping under one in Valley Forge, or the sycamore that witnessed the Civil War at Antietam, the sycamore has seen more history unfold in it’s life that most of us ever will!

Check out the gallery below to see the changes we’ve been making!

The Sycamore through the ages

  • The tree can live for 500 years.
  • The tree has to shed it’s bark to allow new growth
  • The sap can be drunk like water and it can be boiled down to make a syrup like the maple but it is weaker
  • The tree is both male and female, considered both hard and soft wood.
  • One sits in Valley Forge, Pa called the Lafayette Sycamore which it is said, Washington and his men camped under.
  • There is one in Antietam GA, site of the civil war battle in 1862. The people call it the witness tree.
  • Seeds were taken aboard the Apollo 14 lunar trip.
  • It is said that the Sycamore gave its life on 9/11 to protect St Paul’s Chapel as the Towers crashed down, St. Pauls became the headquarters for the rescue operation. A PA artist took part of the trunk and made it a bronze art piece calling it the Trinity Root. This tree symbolizes protection, hope and strength. Interestingly enough it symbolized this in Egyptian times as well.
  • Sometimes called ghost trees because of their white trunk in winter
  • A Sycamore called the tree of life grows in Praque, Czech This sits on the site of a concentration camp. A guard smuggled in seedling which the children planted. As these young seedling tenders were sent to their deaths others took their place. When the camp was liberated the tree was 5 foot high. They placed a sign, “as the branches of this tree, so the branches of our people”. One of the seedling tenders, Stephen Frank, rescued at age 8 was planting its seedlings even when he was 72, Some 600 direct decedents of this tree of life exist today some of which are in DC, San Francisco and Philadelphia