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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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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Do Blue Bottletrees Grow from Blue Seeds?

Jay Thomas Dr 1We saw this cheerful and graceful bottletree on Jay Thomas Drive in Chapel Hill.

Its owner told us, “I purchased my tree from Original In Art in Blowing Rock, NC. It is made of rebar that has been bent into curly branches and currently it has mostly green and blue bottles. I’m trying to paint some bottles red and one yellow/gold to use as a Christmas tree. If I can learn the secret of the paint, I’m going to make some Carolina Blue and some white bottles.

On seeing my tree for the first time, one of my friends asked where I got the seeds for the tree and did I use different colored seeds for the different colored bottles.”

LOL!! Yes, if only bottletrees grew from seeds! Thanks, Wynne! We appreciate the story of your beautiful tree!

Jay Thomas Dr 2

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Hillsborough Bottletrees mentioned in the News and Observer

Caine St Hillsborough 2We were so excited to be mentioned in the News & Observer last week! Here’s the link to the article, which discusses bottletrees and how they are starting to pop up all over the country, despite being considered a southern tradition.

The reporter asked us our opinion on why bottletrees are so popular in Hillsborough and Orange County, and we really couldn’t say that we know of a reason. It’s clear to us why they might be popular in general (because they’re AWESOME), but not why they are so numerous in this area. Does anyone have any thoughts about that??

Thanks for reading!

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Two Bottletrees from One

Arthur Minnis Rd 1A reader recently sent us these photos of his two bottletrees, one all-blue and about 15 feet tall, and the other amethyst, red, orange, and green, and about 4 feet tall.

Both trees were made from a dead cedar on the owners’ property, which they cut down and relocated to their gardens. The smaller tree is actually the top of the bigger tree! The owners, Stanley Finch and Jeffery Beam, trimmed the top off in order to make the first tree a reachable height, and in the process they got two bottletrees out of one.

Many of the blue bottles on the tall one are actually California olive oil bottles, and we think they are a beautiful color and shape and give the tree a unique character.

The amethyst bottles on the shorter tree are from a flea market near Linville, and the rest of the collection has been assembled from various searching around and donations from friends.

You can find these trees at 3212 Arthur Minnis Road, in western Orange County. Many thanks to Stanley and Jeffery for reading and contributing to the bottletree project!

Arthur Minnis Rd 2

Arthur Minnis Rd 3

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