Hershey offers many things to do and see. You can visit Chocolate World, Hershey Park, Zoo America, museums, and attend shows, concerts and professional ice hockey games.
You cans also spend some time just enjoying nature’s beauty. In 1937, Milton Hershey said he wanted “a nice garden of roses.” Hershey Gardens now takes up twenty-three acres on a hill overlooking the town of Hershey. http://www.hersheygardens.org/visit/garden-map
It is a beautiful place in its own right, but my imagination was caught by one particular plant, the “mother tree,” and the sign next to it.
Occasionally, a tree will develop a “witches’ broom,” a growth of tangled branches often in a ball that is genetically different from the rest of the tree. Wikipedia calls a witches broom a “disease or deformity in a wood plant.” Usually, the witches’ broom, weak and undesirable, is removed and destroyed.
But in the early 1960s, the growers at a New Jersey nursery recognized that the witches’ broom on one of their trees had unusual but highly-prized characteristics. So, instead of destroying the witches broom, they cultivated it. They developed what is now a “Dense Jade Tree” with a DNA all its own.
The offspring of that single tree were propagated, nurtured and are now available in nurseries worldwide.
Click on photos to enlarge.