Youngstown man turns yard into tropical oasis

Local News

Crowds stream into the yard to appreciate the tropical sights

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Twelve years ago, a Youngtown man began combining his love of the movie “Rambo” with his green thumb to start a unique hobby that would eventually become a hidden gem on Youngstown’s west side.

Norm Cappitte was already a champion pumpkin and pepper grower winning awards at the Canfield Fair when he started a new hobby with three banana tree bulbs.

“I planted them and they produced what I call pups on the bottom. I sever them off and transplant them,” Cappitte said.

Cappittee said he had to learn how to insulate the plants to make sure they came back every year. Each fall, Cappitte and his son chop down every tree about a foot off the ground. Every year, each tree grows to over 20 feet tall.

Now, crowds stream into their yard to appreciate the tropical sights.

“I think they get a lot of enjoyment out of it because it’s pretty steady, especially on Saturday or Sunday,” Cappitte said. “It would be hard for us to get a Sunday meal without an interruption.”

For the Cappitte family, their banana tree grove has become more than just a pastime.

“They really give us a lot of enjoyment and humbleness, which we need today being home so much,” Cappitte said.

The trees do not produce any bananas like you see at the store. Our climate is too harsh for that type to grow here.

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