The Tree that survived 9/11

One can only imagine the grim job that 9/11 workers had at Ground Zero, working day in and day out to clean up the wreckage of such devastation. And one can only imagine the surprise they must have felt when, a month into the job, they discovered a bit of life sticking out from the rubble—the charred remains of a Callery pear tree.

The tree was originally planted in the 1970s at the World Trade Center site and had been humming along for decades, providing shade to humans and habitat to wildlife both local and passing through.

But upon its discovery in the ruins, it had little more than a few leaves issuing from a single branch, with snapped roots and burned and broken boughs. Yet the battered tree was sent to Van Cortlandt Park for convalescence under the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Park workers say they weren’t sure the tree would make it, but the little tree that could, did. In the spring of 2002, she sprouted a riot of leaves; a dove made a nest in her boughs.

When Ronaldo Vega was hired as a special project manager in 2007, he remembered the story of the tree and went to the Bronx to find it. “I fell in love with her the second I saw her,” he recounts in the video below. “She was a fighter. We knew she was going to come back here.”

For the rest of the story, please click here and be sure to watch the video:

5 thoughts on “The Tree that survived 9/11

  1. Cuttiings were made from that tree and sent around the country to various fire departments who came from around the country to help fight the fire and did rescue work. There is one such tree planted in Prescott, AZ as a memorial to the thousands who lost their lives, including many firefighters. It too is thriving nicely!

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