The green and yellow cedar plant is one of the largest in North America and it is in its last few years of life.
It is one-third of the size of an ordinary red cheddar tree and, like many native American plants, it grows quickly.
But when it is young, it takes two years to reach maturity, and by then it is a thicket of white, gray and brown spires that are reminiscent of the old-growth forests of western Canada.
But for some, the trees are a way of life, and a way to make a living.
They are a source of income for families in a community that often relies on subsistence farming, and in some communities they have helped to create a culture of community, according to Sarah Pappas, an environmental educator who has lived in Red Cedar for 15 years.
“I think the kids are going to see it as a way that they are able to make some extra money,” she said.
“The trees are really important to their families because they’re a source.
They’re a way for them to get a paycheck.”
Pappas said she was surprised by how many people had grown up around the saplings.
“They’re a pretty normal part of the landscape,” she added.
“It’s kind of a little bit surprising that there were so many people that grew up around it.”
The saplings were planted by the local First Nations band in the late 1940s.
The tree was later sold by the band to a local real estate developer and then to a developer who turned it into a clothing store.
“People grew up watching it grow up and have a connection to it, and have that knowledge about it,” said Pappash.
The sapling has been featured in a variety of media including a television commercial for Nike, and it has also been featured on the National Geographic Channel and CNN.
Pappa said the red cork sapling is an example of the power of local history and culture.
“What’s interesting is that it’s actually in the area that we’re talking about here, in the Red Cork area,” she explained.
“There are other corked saplings throughout the region.
They are all different, but it’s not uncommon for there to be a red creeper sapling nearby.”
Red cork tree is a rare native tree in Red Rock County.
(Photo: Red Rock Valley Heritage Society)The red cayes are a keystone species, and Pappa says the tree is unique in the world.
“You’ll see it in a couple of different places, but in the Northern Territory it’s the only one that has a cork in the middle,” she noted.
“But the fact that it has this very unique structure, this very distinctive structure, is what makes it so unique.”
She added that people often take the tree for granted, and many people will not even look at it for the first time.
“When you get to see the red tree, you can see the other ones are in similar locations,” she pointed out.
“That’s one of my favorite things about this tree.”
In the past, the sapling was planted in a small patch of forest just off the Highway 17 ramp, and was quickly picked up by the First Nations and given to the community as a gift.
“This is a very special tree, and that’s why it’s such a symbol,” Pappam said.
“This is what we’ve done to give back.”
Pendleton’s parents, Bill and Patricia Pendleton, were first told about the sapphires by a local First Nation elder.
The family planted the saucer in Red Rocks in 1976, and later it was turned into a small clothing store that sold the cork-free sapling to local families.
Today, the Pendlons own the Red Rock Heritage Society and help teach the community about the importance of the saucers.
“In the community, you hear stories of people, young people, that have grown up in Red Cedar,” Pattis said.
There are two Red Cades that now own and operate the store, and the Pendles continue to grow the tree by hand.
The Pendlays are also involved in a local education program.
“We work with a number of people and we work with the local people to make sure they know about the heritage of the Red cedar tree,” Poppas said.
“That way, we’re not only working on the trees themselves, we work on their communities, the people around them, and they can connect with the trees and the heritage.”
Red Cade’s new owners will soon be handing over their heritage tree to the Red Rocks Heritage Society.
The Red Cade Heritage Society is currently working on a book about the Red Cedar tree and the Redrock Valley. (Image