The Meaning of The Tulip Tree


Roots of Freedom

The historical significance and symbolism of the tulip tree transcends the passage of time. At the founding of this great nation, some tulip trees were designated as gathering places in towns and cities across the colonies to discuss the philosophies and ideas of God given rights and freedoms that would found this country. These trees, dubbed “Liberty Trees,” - the last known standing of which was a tulip tree at St. Johns College in Annapolis Maryland, became symbols of liberty and the rallying ground of free speech. They were so great an image of resistance against tyranny that they were sought out by the invading armies to be destroyed. Symbols of hope are powerful. 

George Washington, after returning home to Mount Vernon after the Revolutionary War was so fond of the beauty of the tulip tree that he himself planted it in his own garden in 1785 at the age of 56. It can still be seen today, greeting visitors to this day, throwing a cool shade in summer, an array of yellow and gold leaves in the fall, and miniature tulip flowers in the spring. George Washington was quoted to have once said “Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.” Which we believe falls right in line with our vision and mission statement. 


“Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”

George Washington, Planter of Tulip Trees

What inspired the logo of The Tulip Tree? Joshua Pennekamp, founder and owner of The Tulip Tree, USA was first introduced to the tree variety in 5th grade during a science fair project. At the time, he had recently immigrated from The Netherlands - where the tulips grow. He was in the midst of a depression - having lost his whole life moving to a foreign country where nothing seemed familiar, until he saw a shape so familiar - a leaf in the shape of a tulip! How wild a thing this was! Only the maker of heaven and earth could leave a note of encouragement with His signature in such a way. When everything was falling apart around him, the God of heaven reached down to encourage a 10 year old boy, who could not write or read English, who was mocked for his accent, and who had lost all friends and hope. From that day forward, he knew everything would be okay. This symbol of hope eventually led to the creation of the brand that makes the products you can now enjoy today. Soli Deo Gloria. 

“The moment I saw it, I knew God was going to establish me here in this land and grow me into His will and purpose.”

Joshua Pennekamp, founder of the Tulip Tree, August 2019