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.