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

Video: Campaigners gather in East Oxford to call for independent inquiry into Operation Bullfinch

Oxford Mail:

7:03pm Monday 30th March 2015

PROTESTERS gathered in the pouring rain at a vigil in East Oxford to voice calls for an independent inquiry into Operation Bullfinch.

Woman pushed to ground as bag snatched in Faringdon

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:03pm Monday 30th March 2015

A 34-year-old woman was pushed to the ground and had her bag taken from her in Faringdon.

Residents asked for just a Little-more for parish

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 30th March 2015

AN EXTRA 59p a week council tax in Littlemore could pay for a dedicated community worker, it has been claimed.

Banbury charity prepares puppies to help disabled

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 30th March 2015

THESE adorable pups couldn’t have more fun as they bonded with each other as they embark on their journey to help those in need.

‘Plans to scrap subsidies could spark city leisure centre price hike’

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Monday 30th March 2015

LEISURE centre prices could go up in the city if plans to scrap subsidies go ahead, a council watchdog committee fears.

Weather alert: High winds feared for this evening and Tuesday

Oxford Mail: Snow set for Gloucestershire as Met Office issues severe weather warning

4:04pm Monday 30th March 2015

OXFORDSHIRE has been put under a yellow weather warning for high winds this evening and tomorrow.

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