Welcome to Hillsborough Bottletrees

BottletreesHillsborough Bottletrees is a project started by two elementary school students in Hillsborough, NC, to locate and list all the bottletrees in our town and surrounding areas in Orange County.

If you have a bottletree and want to be included on here please contact us! If you know someone with a bottletree, please tell them about this project.

You can email us your photos, and we will upload them here for the collection. Tell us all about how you made your tree, and why, and anything else you want to share. If you don’t have any pictures, we will come and take photos for you!

You can contact us at hillsboroughbottletrees@gmail.com.  More information and FAQ on our About page.

Thank you!

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OHS Art Student + Monet + Bottletrees = AMAZING!

This Fall at Orange High School, the visual arts students did a unit on the techniques of Monet and other French Impressionist painters, and the students were asked to choose a subject for an impressionist painting.

One student, Mia Maxwell in Mrs. Elizabeth Dell-Jones’s art class, chose a bottletree as her subject. Mia had seen the bottletree exhibit at the Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill, and other bottletrees displayed in Hillsborough, and says she was “in love with how the light seemed to dance from all the different colored bottles.”

Check out the original at the Botanical Gardens, and check out Mia’s interpretation. As with many impressionist works, the painting seems magically illuminated and even more dazzling than the original!

You can see Mia’s beautiful painting at the student art exhibit in the lobby of Orange High School, up until the end of November. We loved seeing all the students’ inspiring artwork.



“Orange County Bottle Tree” by Mia Maxwell, 2014

NC Botanical Garden blue bottle tree


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The Giving (Bottle) Tree

We saw this sweet little bottletree right by the intersection of Dodsons Crossroads and Orange Grove Road. Turns out it belongs to Ms. Betty H., who says that it was made for her by a friend. What a great gift from a great friend! Thanks for sending us the photo.


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Bottletrees highlighted in Hillsborough’s annual “Spirit Tour”

ghostsoldierIt is said that Hillsborough is haunted, and it certainly was filled with ghosts last Saturday night! The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and the Orange Community Players teamed up to present a unique twist on your typical historic ghost walk, presenting an elaborately staged Spirits of Hillsborough Haunted Walking Tour.

The tour was brought to life by a host of ghostly apparitions, including historic figures such as Edmund Fanning and Mary Goddard Kollock Nash; the ghost of a fallen Confederate soldier; a despicable ne-er-do-well who died in a fight over a liquor still; and other colorful characters risen from the dead. Along the way we were spooked several times by wayward zombies, too!

Most especially, we were excited to hear the ghost of Mrs. Nash educate the tour group on the legends of bottletrees and how they can help trap “haints.”  She also told us about “haint blue” and how it is painted on the porches of many houses in the South to prevent ghosts from entering homes.

Thank you Historic Hillsborough for being such a fun place to live! Stay tuned for news about next year’s tour… this year all the slots sold out well in advance of show time, and we saw lots of people turned away at the door.  http://www.visithillsboroughnc.com/content/spirits-hillsborough-tours-1  All photos by Alliance for Historic Hillsborough

fanningghost narrators

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Local Artist Available for Custom Bottletree Orders

jeremy-stollings-ironwood-crafts-4We get lots of emails from our readers asking about local options for buying metal bottletrees, so we wanted to share this source with you.

For a custom-made, all-steel bottletree inspired by nature, you can contact Jeremy Stollings of Ironwood Crafts in Durham, NC. An average 7′ tree, which can hold 15-20 bottles, costs about $100, depending on the design.

You can reach him via email at jeremy@ironwoodcrafts.com or visit him in person at the Durham Craft Market, weekly on Saturday mornings on Foster Street in Durham. For more information, please visit http://www.ironwoodcrafts.com/trees.htmljeremy-stollings-ironwood-crafts-5

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New Visitors Flyers at Hillsborough Visitors Center

Hillsborough Bottletrees Visitor FlyerAs some of you know, we are students at Cameron Park Elementary School in Hillsborough. This year, one of our classes did the Great Mail Race, where the goal is to write to other students in all fifty states, and learn about their school and life.

We wrote to Milton Elementary School in Vermont, and they wrote back telling us all about their school and state, and asked for information from us. So we went to the Hillsborough Visitors Center in the historic Alexander Dickson House on East King Street and got a ton of amazingly great stuff to send to Vermont. (Thank you Visitors Center!)

We also dropped off a stack of flyers for visitors to Hillsborough. Here is a picture of our Hillsborough Bottletrees flyer, right in there with all the other historic flyers about our town and state. We are so official! :D

If you are in town, we hope you can stop by the Visitors Center and pick up a flyer! It has a map so you can go on your own tour of the downtown bottletrees. Many are within walking distance.

Hillsborough Visitors Center

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Pro Tip: Bottled Water in Cobalt Blue Glass

blue glass bottled waterOn a reader tip (thanks, Jeffery Beam!), we just got some blue glass bottles for our bottletree at Trader Joe’s.

This is a great option for collecting blue bottles. While we were at Trader Joe’s we also saw an amazingly huge, oversized blue wine bottle, but we didn’t think our cedar tree was sturdy enough for it.

What are some of your pro tips for collecting interesting or pretty glass bottles?

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Bottletree Spotted at the NC State Fair

NC State Fair bottletree 1We enjoyed a super fun evening at the NC State Fair 2013 last night, and on our way in, we saw this classic blue bottletree made of a post and rebar “branches.”

It was with the Flower and Garden Show exhibit, which was very beautiful too. Has anyone else seen this at the Fair?

NC State Fair bottletree 2


NC State Fair bottletree 3

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