The Liberty Tree - A Part Of American History
Everything at Disney World is part of a story. Nothing appears by chance. The Liberty Tree actually has two interesting stories to be shared. The first story has to do with the role that the Liberty Tree plays in its place in Liberty Square.
The single most known moment was when lanterns were hung in its branches to mark the repeal of the Stamp Act so that all could see.
On the bronze plaque located at the base of the tree (and pictured below) are the following words:
Under the boughs of the original Liberty Tree in Boston in 1765, Patriots, calling themselves "The Sons Of Liberty," gathered to protest the imposition of the Stamp Act. In the years that followed, almost every American town had a Liberty Tree -- A Living Symbol Of The American Freedom of Speech and Assembly.
Our Liberty Tree is a Southern Live Oak, Quercus Virginiana, more than 100 years old.
The Remarkable Story Of A Tree
The second story is about the tree itself and its impressive story of how it got to Liberty Square. As mentioned above the tree is a Southern Live Oak and it was originally located within the Disney World Resort property about 6 miles south of its present location. The tree was 40 feet tall and 60 feet wide and weighed over 38 tons.
At the time this was one of the largest trees ever attempted to be transplanted. It was too large to just place a chain around the trunk and lift it, since that would damage the delicate bark and potentially kill the tree. In order to move the tree and protect it, they drilled two holes through the trunk and inserted metal rods so that a crane could then lift the tree and transport it. After the tree was put into place the metal rods were removed and the original wood plugs were returned to the tree.
Over time the re-inserted wood became diseased so they had to be removed and the holes were filled with concrete which stopped the further spread of disease. Also a second, smaller live oak has been grafted onto the original tree to help give it the full shape that it enjoys now.
The Liberty Tree currently holds 13 lanterns representing the 13 original colonies.
Under Appreciated Landmark
The Liberty Tree doesn't get much attention since it is not part of a ride or a show, but it has a story that is as involved as any attraction. It makes an excellent addition to Liberty Square. The next time that you are visiting the Magic Kingdom, please take the time to slow down and look closely at the Liberty Tree and read its plaque.
Earn extra points with your family by telling them the story of how they are looking at one of the largest trees ever transplanted and how the Disney Imagineers accomplished the task.