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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There are two ways of spreading light…

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” — Edith Wharton, American Novelist and short-story writer, 1862-1937

edith wharton candle quote


For some reason this makes me think of bottletrees.


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Bottletree Field Trip to Ironwood Crafts Workshop

Yesterday we were so excited to visit sculptor Jeremy Stollings of Ironwood Crafts at his workshop in Hillsborough, NC.  We got a sneak preview of Stollings’s newest project, a commissioned piece for an upcoming exhibit at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh.

The piece to be displayed at the Museum is a tall, airy bottletree made from rolled steel, soaring in twists and turns, with plenty of room for classic blue bottles and maybe even a bird’s nest!



That’s not Jeremy, by the way. :-)



North Carolina Museum of History presents “Southern Impressions,” opening Dec 11, 2015.

jeremy p2

37 Paintings on loan from the James-Farmer Collection, and museum artifacts

The Museum’s exhibit is called “Southern Impressions: Paintings from the James-Farmer Collection,” opening December 11, 2015.

According to the Museum web site, “this exhibit will explore stories of southern people, culture, and landscape through loaned paintings—from the collection of Dr. Nancy Farmer and Dr. Everette James, of Chapel Hill—and museum artifacts.”

Of course, we’re super excited about the inclusion of a bottletree in the exhibit, helping to represent southern folklife and our varied and rich cultural history.

As one of the tallest trees Stollings has built, this one presented a few challenges, including the fact that, unlike most bottletrees, this one won’t be planted in the ground.

Stollings turned the challenge into an opportunity to give the bottletree something very few have ever had — roots! Welded onto a sturdy base that will provide stability as well as unique design, the tree will be able to stand freely inside the Museum, and possibly be moved to other locations.

Thank you, Jeremy, for the wonderful tour of your workshop. We can’t wait to learn more about the exhibit and see this beautiful bottletree installed in Raleigh!

Check out the Ironwood Crafts Facebook page to see videos of Stollings working on the tree — you can almost see it come to life!




ironwood crafts jeremy stollings bottletree12



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Innovative Design for Wooden Bottletree

Bottletree - St Marys Road 1We recently received these photos of an amazing Hillsborough bottletree from Mr. Robert Crabtree, who built this structure in his backyard, off of St. Mary’s Road. It is 12 feet tall, 8 feet wide, and is made up of 301 bottles!!!

This is one of the most interesting bottletree original designs we’ve seen, as it is not a live tree, and it’s not a welded metal tree.  We love the large scale, and the symmetry, and the colors.

At first it reminded us of a totem pole, and then we thought it also looks a little like a robot that’s been electrified. :-)  What does it remind you of?

Thanks for sending these pictures in to us! We really appreciate it!

Bottletree - St  Marys Road (2)

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Small Bottletree for Sale at Durham Garden Center

Metal Bottletree for SaleYesterday, we spotted this cute metal bottletree for sale at Durham Garden Center on Hillsborough Road in Durham (near Bennett Place).

It sells for $79.99 before tax, and appears to be about 6 feet tall. Just wanted to share!

Durham Garden Center

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Blue Bottles Sparkle Against Hillsborough’s Winter Wonderland

More enchanting snowy bottletree photos arrived this week! These two were sent in by Ippy Patterson, a neighbor of Jeffery Beam and Stanley Finch, who made this soaring blue bottletree a few years ago.


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Happy Snow Days from Hillsborough Bottletrees

Hope everyone is staying safe and warm with all this snow!snowy bottletree 1snowy bottletree 2

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A Sea of Cobalt Blue

From the Orange County Recycling Web Site: Cart contractor staff deliver roll carts to Orange County rural residents that requested a cart.

The past few weeks in Orange County NC have been a blur of cobalt blue! And this time, not because of bottletrees, but because of these awesome new electric blue recycling carts the County is distributing for curbside recycling.

We love our new rolling cart — it holds a LOT more and makes it easier to get the stuff out to the curb. It also hopefully makes life easier for the people collecting the recyclables.

We’re definitely going to have to adjust our eyes, however. As dedicated bottletree hunters, we are used to slamming on the brakes and hollering “bottletree!?!?” whenever we see this bright blue cobalt color peeking out of someone’s backyard or from behind their garage. Now that practically every house has one of these new containers, we’re going to have to sharpen our skills! :-)

Cobalt Blue as far as the eye can see

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