Preserving Live Oak Heritage & Heirloom Acorns
Our goal at Penderlea Farms is to preserve the Heritage Live Oaks of North Carolina by breeding and cultivating their acorn offspring. To this end, we have partnered with local tree residencies to gather acorns from Live Oak Trees for harvesting over the winter months. With their help, we have collected over 40,000 acorns our first season, and over 30,000 our second. While not every acorn is viable for planting, we've been developing a system for increasing its survivability.
Out of gallery
We have dubbed this tree "Old Girl." She has been standing for almost 500 years, showcasing the most beautiful character and disposition. Her sprawling limbs and grandiose stature make her the most famous tree in Wilmington. Our acorns picked from this tree are definitely a customer favorite.
Airlie Sister Oaks
These famed sisters stand side by side and guard to the famous 500-year-old Airlie Gardens Southern Live Oak, whom we have dubbed "Old Girl." The sisters have protected this legendary tree for over 300 years. All Live Oaks at Airlie Gardens are top quality with unquestionable pedigrees.
The Airlie Salt Live Oaks line the marshes surrounding the infamous Airlie Gardens. They are the first line of defense for the hurricanes that have rocked our area for hundreds of years. Their roots extend into the salty marsh and have adapted to be extremely salt water tolerant. Whether you live inland or on water, these trees offer ageless genes.
The entrance to the esteemed Hoggard High School, in Wilmington, is framed by some timeless Live Oaks that have brought joy to everyone walking on campus. They have been on the grounds for well over one-hundred years. For students, parents, and anyone else who has visited, planting a descendant of this tree will bring back Hoggard memories every time you see it.
Wrightsville Beach Loop
We collect acorns from the Wrightsville Beach Loop trees that stand proud and tall, neighboring the Wrightsville Beach Museum. For anyone wanting a tree that comes from a great structured parent that has stood the test of time through dozens of hurricanes and is very saltwater tolerant, a Wrightsville Loop offspring is for you. This variety is also synonymous with the Wrightsville Beach community; the history of the Dave Howard farm tells us the trees lining the loop also came from our farm 40 plus years ago.
Most likely the oldest documented live oak in Wilmington. At over 700 years old, this Live Oak has a long and historical past going back to the beginning of when the area was first settled. You can find this spiritual tree off of Beasley Road, just behind Masonboro Baptist Church, watching over a cemetery with gravestones that date back 200 years.
The Willard tree is an exceptional assortment of Southern Live Oaks tied to Mr. Emerson Willard, a 99-year old Live Oak farmer who resides on Masonboro Sound. Mr. Willard's favorite tree is rumored to be 400 years old and is the parent of many trees purchased from him. After observing how well they grew, we decided to grow our remarkable second-generation collection. All of the Willard trees reside within 100 yards from Masonboro Sound. Hurricanes, high temperatures, and salt water are all part of Willard history.
This special variety has a sentimental story that is tied to what is now Penderlea Farms. Mr. Dave Howard used to own and manage the same land for over 50 years. For his nursery and farm, he searched and hand-collected thousands of native North Carolinian Live Oak specimens that he planted on the land. Mainly all of the 20 to 50-year-old historic Live Oaks you see lining the streets downtown Wilmington came from Dave's Farm - Burgaw Creek Nursery. The trees decorating the medium of the 17th Street extension between College and Independence are great examples of a Howard Live Oaks.