NMB Tree City Board Announces November Tree of the Month Award

The North Myrtle Beach Tree City Board has presented its Tree of the Month Award for November to Jean Clarke and Ken Hudspeth for the care and maintenance of a twisted Pine Tree located in their backyard. The tree is estimated to be more than 80 years old.

Not much is known about how the pine came by its twisted top but Ken Hudspeth, who, the reader should be warned, is known for spinning a good yarn, offers this perspective.

During the 1950s, the property on which the tree now stands was part of a farm. When Hurricane Hazel passed through North Myrtle Beach, it wreaked havoc on trees and structures alike. When the storm had passed, the owner of the farm went out to survey the damage on his land and found a strange situation. The pine tree had not broken during the hurricane but its top was twisted. On one of its twisted limbs, the farmer saw a cat.

After several attempts to get it down, he was successful. Looking up again, he saw a cow straddling one of the twisted branches, ostensibly tossed there by the storm’s high winds. It was a huge undertaking, but the farmer managed to get the cow out of the tree. As he turned to walk away after having saved the cow, he heard a clanging sound. Turning back around, he looked up into the twisted pine and saw a cow bell hanging by its leather strap from one of the twisted limbs. For several years, the cow bell ringing in the wind drew attention to the twisted pine tree. After several years, the leather strap to which the bell was attached disintegrated, and the bell fell to the ground. No one really looked up to notice the twisted pine after that, and so it was left alone to grow into the unique tree that it is today.

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