The Golden Tree

The tree was new to him, a massive silver needled pine. He climbed off his horse and walked slowly round the fallen giant, in the root plate he noticed a yellow glint, carelessly he dropped the golden nugget in his pocket, then found what he was looking for. In what had been the topmost branches were mature cones. Carefully he collected the seed.

His letter to Kew began; “Wonderful discoveries, you must think I have been manufacturing pines, I have found so many.”

He never mentioned the gold, to the plant hunter David Douglas, trees were much more important.

A true story, David Douglas, one of the great early plant hunters, discovered hundreds of species during his expeditions in North West America, the Douglas Fir is named after him. When told that gold had been discovered in California, he replied that he had often found small nuggets when digging up plant specimens, but he had never mentioned it as he didn’t think it was of any interest.

This is in response to Charlie Mills flash fiction challenge, In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that that goes in search of trees.


Filed under Historical tales

6 responses to “The Golden Tree

  1. Another clever true story for us to learn from 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Douglas fir! I know these trees well but didn’t know the golden story that went with the plant hunter. Thank you, Gordon!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Seeking Trees « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  4. I really enjoyed the story and the footnote.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I recognized the two names and had to come by for confirmation. Love the horti-historical flash.


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