Penderlea Farms grows live oak trees to preserve area history

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Live oak trees growing at Penderlea Farms (Photo: WWAY)

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Outside the Town of Burgaw, economic development is flourishing due to some forward thinkers.

A visionary is someone who can hold a seed, and tell you how the fully grown plant will look. Wilmington Entrepreneur Richard Johnson is doing just that — literally!

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His company is gathering acorns from some of Wilmington’s heirloom live oak trees, planting them here, and nurturing them for harvest.

He purchased the old Burgaw Creek Nursery, which had recently been used to grow corn and soybeans.

Scott Sutton manages the new Penderlea Farms.



“Our business model is just growing live oaks,” Sutton said. “Our goal is to propagate heirloom live oaks so that the history and genetics will continue for generations and generations.”

The farm plans to plant several more thousand live oak trees this year and a total of 10,000 next year.

It hopes to give back to the community by hiring workers from the nearby area and donating a portion of the proceeds of tree sales to various organizations in Pender County.