Landmark cherry tree splits in half

Cherry tree in bloom

Last spring

Split cherry tree

On Saturday

The large cherry tree at the North Gate of the Chapel split in half on Saturday. The damage was so great that the gardeners had to saw it up and remove it.

The Shirotae Cherry tree was believed to be about 90 years old. It produced spectacular white blossom in the spring and is often seen in pictures of the Chapel. It was also familiar to those who walk through the College via the North Gate.

The tree was rotten in the middle but had solid wood around the edge of the trunk that was keeping it standing.

The rainy summer, however, had encouraged abundant new growth. Sappy young branches are heavy, and with the rainwater on the leaves increasing the weight, the trunk split in half.

The College plans to replace the tree as soon as possible, probably with another cherry tree.

17 July 2012