Tolkien fans fume as author’s tree is chopped

Work on felling the tree which inspired author JRR Tolkien began yesterday – much to the anger of Lord of the Rings fans                                     Picture: OX69147 Jon Lewis

Work on felling the tree which inspired author JRR Tolkien began yesterday – much to the anger of Lord of the Rings fans Picture: OX69147 Jon Lewis Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

BOTANIC Garden staff have been compared to an evil wizard for cutting down a tree that is said to have inspired Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien.

The black pine – pinus negra – is being felled for safety reasons after two of its branches fell off last weekend.

It is believed to have been the inspiration for the Ent creatures featured in the Oxford author’s novels.

But since bosses at the High Street garden made the announcement, they have been inundated with messages from fans of the trilogy.

Acting Garden director Dr Alison Foster, below, said one person had even likened staff to the Lord of the Rings villain Saruman.

Oxford Mail:

In the first and second books in the series, the wizard is corrupted by the power of the dark lord Sauron and has the trees around his stronghold torn down.

Oxford Mail:

  • The dark lord Sauron (played by Christopher Lee in the films)

Dr Foster said: “There are a lot of people out there who are very big fans of JRR Tolkien and some of them have taken this to heart.

“It is an alternative version of reality and in one case someone has likened us to Saruman and emailed a number of staff to complain, as well as Oxford City Council.”

So far about 50 emails have been received, she said, with many fans asking for a piece of the tree to keep once it has been felled.

Dr Foster said: “It is a complex exercise because we can’t give everyone who asks a piece of the tree.

Oxford Mail:

  • Tolkien at the tree

“But we are thinking about what is most appropriate and may use the wood to make some benches.

“Whatever we choose has to be a celebration of the tree.”

Oxford Mail:

  • The branches fell and damaged a wall

Workers are expected to be at the Botanic Garden until the end of tomorrow, chopping the 20-metre tall tree into large sections. Researchers will also take a sample from the main trunk so that, for the first time, its age can be accurately measured.

The decision to fell the tree was made after experts from the city council and Oxford University examined the pine, but it has not been determined why the two branches fell off, damaging a wall.


 

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

FOOTBALL: Mike Ford is relishing challenge after taking over as Banbury United boss

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 23rd May 2015

Former Oxford United captain Mike Ford is relishing a return to management with Banbury United, after spending more than a year out of the game.

Jury told fire started because businessman thought best man was having affair with wife

Oxford Mail:

8:29am Friday 22nd May 2015

A HOUSE fire that forced people to jump for their lives was started by a businessman who accused his best man of having an affair with his wife, a jury heard.

UPDATE: Missing woman Rachel Selby from Banbury found safe

Oxford Mail:

3:16pm Friday 22nd May 2015

A WOMAN who went missing from Banbury has been found, police said

Person hit by train between Slough and Reading likely to affect Oxford rail services to London

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

3:24pm Friday 22nd May 2015

TRAINS from Oxford could be disrupted after a person was hit by a train between Slough and Reading.

Teenagers arrested after robbery in Hythe Bridge Street

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:23pm Friday 22nd May 2015

TWO teenagers have been arrested after a robbery in Hythe Bridge Street.

Oxford United stepping up interest in striker Ryan Taylor

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

Ryan Taylor remains firmly on Oxford United’s radar despite the signing of Kemar Roofe, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree