TRR photos by Sandy Long
Twentieth century American poet Robert Frost, wrote his beloved poem “Birches” as a response to the beauty of the rural landscape he loved at his home in Franconia, NH. The poem was published in 1916, a year after he moved to Franconia. It concludes with the lines: 
“I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”

Poet-tree for thee

Fans of Robert Frost’s poetry and lovers of trees might be pleased to know they can now plant a piece of history on their Upper Delaware River region property. 

Thanks to a partnership between The Frost Place (the poet’s home in Franconia, NH, where many of his popular poems were penned) and the non-profit organization American Heritage Trees (AHT), seeds collected from the birch trees at Frost’s homestead were harvested, planted and grown by AHT and are now saplings for sale. Part of the profits support The Frost Place, a non-profit dedicated to preserving Frost’s legacy. (

AHT combines American historic heritage with conservation by offering trees that have special significance in our nation’s history, tied to interesting stories about “U. S. Presidents, explorers, writers and other key figures.”
Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner, among others, have their own trees, which led me to ponder the possibilities for selecting a tree in honor of famed local author, Zane Grey, one of the early 20th century’s most popular writers of Western novels and stories, as well as an avid adventurer. Grey’s former home at the confluence of the Delaware and Lackawaxen rivers in Lackawaxen Township, PA is maintained as a museum by the National Park Service ( 

One likely tree candidate might be the Eastern hemlock, a coniferous evergreen native to the region. It is also Pennsylvania’s state tree. What other trees would be good possibilities?


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