Monday 19 November 2018

Sad farewell to 170-year-old 'fellow'

The front square of Trinity College where a 170-year-old tree collapsed on Saturday morning. Photo: Gerry Mooney
The front square of Trinity College where a 170-year-old tree collapsed on Saturday morning. Photo: Gerry Mooney
The centre yard in Trinity College where a 200 year old tree collapsed

Alan O'Keeffe

He was one of the oldest fellows in Trinity and finally he fell this weekend.

For more than 170 years, the magnificent Oregon Maple tree stood tall in the front square of Trinity College, Dublin.

His freshman year was in the 1840s when he and his twin Oregon Maple were inducted into college life by one of the gardening staff.

These twin trees stood in silent witness to the comings and goings of students, lecturers, and colourful personalities in the square for 17 decades.

Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett or famous provost JP Mahaffy may have relaxed in their leafy shade.

The two maples were the oldest trees in the college and the largest known specimens of Oregon Maples to be found in Ireland or Britain.

In the early hours of yesterday, a strong gust of wind heralded the end for one of them. The tree came crashing down, causing no injuries or damage to the college.

Chainsaws hummed his requiem.

Now his twin, which may be diseased, is being examined to see if he can be sustained into the future.

Sunday Independent

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