Deciphering DC: Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree

Isaac Newton Apple Tree
Plaque at the Isaac Newton Apple Tree

A direct descendant of Sir Isaac Newton’s famous apple tree grows in DC. In case you didn’t know.

Up in International Park (in NW north of Cleveland Park) grows this gravity inspiring progeny. The tree was first planted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and transplanted in 1966 to this location (the former headquarters of the National Bureau of Standards – now known as NIST).

NIST also planted a second descendant tree when they moved to their new headquarters in Maryland.

Found in Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth in England (which is just cool to say – try it five times), the original tree that dropped an apple on Newton’s head, to inspire his theory of gravity, died in 1815. Before it died, grafts were taken and preserved to be later planted in various places, including those described above and at both the University of Wisconsin and University of Nebraska.

If you do go sit under the tree in DC and wait for an apple to plop on your head, at least invent something important afterwards!

Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth. Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth. Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth. Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth. Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth. Okay, I’m done now.

International Park (Washington, DC 20008)

Isaac Newton Apple Tree
The apple tree in DC at International Park

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

One thought on “Deciphering DC: Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree”

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