Another arboreal post


in Daily updates, Oxford

Wadham College Tree of Heaven, trimmed

The Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) in the Wadham Back Quad has been radically pruned. To begin with, it got a warning sign (and the first jokes began circulating about the killer tree). Next, it got a very ugly ad hoc fence surrounding it. Now, all of the branches have been lopped off, such that they terminate in flat segments about five or six inches in diameter. The gardeners are apparently saying that it will not die, though I find it hard to imagine how or where it will be growing any leaves in the spring.

To give some sense of scale, the tree must be about 30m high. You can see the top portion above the roof of the main quad, when you are standing at the far side. In its present state, it makes the Back Quad look especially bleak during our 4:30pm sunsets.

PS. I modified today’s photo in the same way as a previously posted one of the same tree to illustrate the contrast.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan November 21, 2006 at 5:00 pm

You can see the top of the tree to the right of the rightmost person in this photo from last January. It is behind me (on the left) in this photo from March. It is off in the corner of this April photo.

Subsequent photos of the day are harder to search through, because WordPress does not produce monthly post pages that include embedded images.

Milan November 21, 2006 at 5:02 pm

Here are Rosalind and a friend of hers being duly terrified by the warning sign.

Alena Prazak November 22, 2006 at 12:43 am

That tree looks much better with you in front of it. I feel a connection to that tree… It looks so severely pruned, but nature is resilient.

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