The Survivor Tree emerged as a beacon of hope on ground zero after the devastating terrorist attacks on 9/11. Keep reading to find out about the history, the symbolism, and the seeding program of the Survivor Tree.
A Callery pear tree that withstood the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, came to be known as the "Survivor Tree." It had survived, but when the eight-foot-tall (2.4-meter) tree was found almost a month later, it was seriously damaged with split roots and broken, charred limbs. After being taken out of the debris at Ground Zero, the tree was given over to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The tree, which was 30 feet (9.1 meters) tall at the time, was brought back to where the World Trade Center used to be in December 2010 after being rehabilitated in the Bronx. Today, it stands tall at the 9/11 Memorial Site, serving as a reminder of the past and bringing hope and resilience to all.
Defying all odds, the Survivor Tree flourished in the spring of 2002, and a dove built a nest in the branches. It returned home following nine years of care in the Bronx, after surviving a terrorist attack and uprooting caused by lighting. It is planted at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, where it flourishes in a somber environment that is alive with memories. A powerful symbol of perseverance in the face of adversity, it provides hope and embodies the strong and resilient American spirit.
Launched on 11 September 2013, the Survivor Tree seedling initiative was started in collaboration with John Bowne High School in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens and Bartlett Tree Experts of Stamford, Connecticut to spread the message of hope, survival, and regrowth. Three communities who have experienced tragedies recently received saplings from the Survivor Tree every year from the 9/11 Memorial since it was first launched.
The Survivor Tree is the single Callery pear tree that survived the 9/11 attacks.
A month after some of the rubble from the Twin Towers was cleared, the severely damaged but barely alive tree was found in the ground. Though it was not expected to survive, it was still replanted in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where it was nurtured back to life.
The Survivor Tree symbolizes resilience, survival, and rebirth.
Yes, the Survivor Tree is still alive and flourishing.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation relocated the tree to the Arthur Ross Nursery in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, in November 2001 so that it could receive care. On 11 November 2001, it was transplanted in the Bronx.
Yes, the Survivor Tree is the only tree that survived the 9/11 attacks.
The Survivor Tree is cared for by a non-profit organization that raises funds and runs the 9/11 Museum and Memorial.
There is a seedling program that began in 2013 to spread hope in communities that had suffered from tragedies. This is also another way of surviving in difficult times.
Yes, you can leave tributes at the Survivor Tree.
Yes, you can get a memento related to the Survivor Tree at the museum’s store.