'Tolkien's tree' in Oxford to be cut down

'Tolkien's Tree' in Oxford University's Botanic Garden The tree is said to have been one of JRR Tolkien's favourites

Related Stories

A 215-year-old black pine known as "Tolkien's tree" in Oxford University's Botanic Garden is to be felled after two of its branches came down.

The decision has been made by experts at Oxford City Council and the university after the large branches fell from the tree on Saturday.

Dr Alison Foster, of the Botanic Garden, said: "It's a tree like no other - it's just heart-breaking."

The tree was a favourite of JRR Tolkien during his time in Oxford.

'Crack appeared'

Ms Foster said staff heard noises coming from the tree and moved visitors away from the area of the walled garden shortly before the branches fell.

She said: "A crack appeared and then in about five minutes the branches came down.

"It's really hard to say what the cause was - it's something that just happens in old trees - there are suggestions that prolonged hot, dry weather can lead to this kind of thing."

An area around the tree has been closed to the public while the tree is felled, a process which is expected to take several weeks.

The Botanic Garden said the tree was thought to have been planted in 1799 from a seed collected by the third Sherardian Professor of Botany, John Sibthorp, in Austria.

The garden said it intended to propagate from the black pine.

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings while living and working in Oxford.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Oxford



Min. Night 2 °C


Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.