Another arboreal post

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.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

3 thoughts on “Another arboreal post”

  1. 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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