‘Vaccinated’ Herbie cloned to resurrect age of elms

by The Liberty Tree Society

Historical portrayal of a gathering around an old elm tree in Sheffield, MA. It was reported that 500 people could stand in the shadow of this big elm. — Image courtesy of the Liberty Tree Society

It’s the rebirth of American’s oldest and largest elm.  At 110 feet tall and over 230 years old,  this venerable tree had survived more than a dozen bouts of Dutch elm disease. Children of the Town of Yarmouth, Maine, named the famous elm “Herbie.”

“Herbie” may be gone. However, his resurrection is underway, thanks to the efforts of the Liberty Tree Society. Ten years before “Herbie” was cut down, they collected cuttings for the purpose of continuing “Herbie’s” unique legacy.

Cloning “Herbie” was a daunting challenge.  The Society took thousands of cuttings before clones could be produced.   The USDA also tried and admitted “they didn’t survive.” 

Now, Liberty Tree Society is ready to put “Herbie” back on “Elm Streets” across America, said John Hansel, Founder. To date not a single “Herbie” has been lost to Dutch elm disease, generating hope for his resurrection.

The Liberty Tree Society was established to celebrate the “Liberty Tree” of Boston.  The roots of the “Liberty Tree” go back to Plymouth, Massachusetts when the Pilgrims arrived in the New World seeking independence.  Before they stepped ashore from the Mayflower they signed The Compact agreeing for the first time in history to abide by laws of their own making. It is often referred to as America’s “First Constitution.” Then, 150 years later their descendants rallied around the Liberty Tree and organized the Revolution which set them free.

To order clones of “Herbie”  visit  or contact them by email

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