You can visit Sir Isaac Newton's legendary "gravity tree"—and its many descendants and clones

Part of Sir Isaac Newton's gravity genesis story involves a "Flower of Kent" apple tree at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, England, where a 23 year old Isaac Newton quarantined at his ancestral home as the Great Plague of London raged through the late 1660s. Of the original tree that bore the apple whose brief freefall sparked Newton's curiosity, sadly it was blown down in 1820, and depending upon the story teller, was either relocated to The King's School in nearby Grantham or rerooted in the exact same spot, where both trees stand till this very day.

Image: NIST Gaithersburg Newton Apple Tree – Jason Stoughton | NISTCC0

The one, true "gravity tree" likely was planted around 1650, which means it was still fairly young when Newton saw one of its apples fall. It's a variety known as "Flower of Kent," producing a bland, mealy variety of apple used mainly for cooking. The species is no longer popular, but this individual one has remained famous.

Newton's apple tree has descendants and clones all over the world | Big Think
Image: National Fruit Collection, Brogdale | UK Open Government License v2.0

Big Think has an excellent article about the clones and descendants of the original "Gravity Tree" that have spread far and wide, located "on every continent except Antarctica, and Atlas Obscura has the map to prove it." Below is a short list of the Gravity Trees identified by Big Think, which are located in North America:

The U.S. has 14 locations with descendants or clones of the "gravity tree," more than any other country. Most are at universities:
• University of Nebraska in Lincoln
• University of Wisconsin in Madison
• Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee
• West Virginia University in Morgantown
• William & Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia
• Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
• Houghton University in Caneadea, upstate New York
• Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island
• Three in the Boston area: Babson College, MIT, and Tufts University

The three exceptions:
• National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland
• International Park in Washington, DC
• New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx

There are three "gravity tree" locations in Canada:
• In 1968, a "gravity tree" was planted outside the Main Accelerator Building at TRIUMF, Canada's national particle accelerator center at the University Endowment Lands in Vancouver, British Columbia. The center now manages a grove of seven "gravity trees."
• York University in Toronto
• National Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC) in Ottawa.

Via the Gravity Trees, it is possible to touch a tangible, living totem, where one can stand in approximately the same place scientific titans of the past and present have stood while paying respect to Sir Isaac Newton.