Anne’s beloved chestnut tree has long been struggling with a fungus that could not be cured by humans. Experts could tell the tree would not survive. Two years ago, a structure was built around it to minimize the damage it would do when it did fall.
The tree collapsed on the afternoon of 23 August 2010. It was a windy day. The structure built around it reportedly did it’s job: no one was harmed and the buildings around still stand.
The photo here seems to show some small damage to a roof of a brick structure. A picture on on Twitter shows that the Annexe (left building) was not touched.
Deep thanks to my NL contact for the links and wind and time information.
Recent news that I neglected to post is that the structure to protect Anne’s tree is being put up now, or is perhaps already completed by now. The builders donated their efforts but funds will be needed to maintain the structure in the coming years (see the big yellow link below to contribute).
You can read past blog entries about the tree’s problems to learn why this structure is necessary (in short, there were concerns that the tree might fall, due to extensive fungus in the trunk, which poses a danger to the Anne Frank House, other buildings around the tree, and the lives of nearby people). The structure does not touch the tree. The structure is designed to keep the tree from falling sideways if it collapses. (Dutch news story)
I am arrogantly and baselessly predicting that the tree won’t collapse for at least five years. I wonder if anyone is running a bet on this in Amsterdam. [I was proven wrong. Her tree fell on 23 August 2010, two years and four months after this post. SM]
Special thanks go to to my NL contact for sending some of today’s information.
Despite getting permission to cut down Anne’s beloved chestnut tree a week ago, a plan has been tentatively agreed to go ahead with building a structure, which should stand for 5-15 years. The idea of the structure is to allow the tree to remain standing and yet to protect the surrounding buildings in case it should fall or collapse (it is infested with a fungus they cannot get rid of).
Reading the online translation, it sounds as if the parties involved are in tentative agreement and will solicit for money to pay for this structure. Further, if they don’t manage an agreement and to start building the structure by the end of May, they will cut the tree down.
A team of architects and tree specialists have already designed the structure. First, the crown of he tree will be pruned (again). The flexible construction won’t touch the tree, allowing it to grow and move in the wind. The plan includes monitoring the tree and the security situation (presumably this is about checks to see if it is showing signs of collapsing).
Dutch news story
Special thanks to my mysterious NL contact for sending this info and links.
Anne Frank House page about it
an online translation service
According to Earthtimes.org, on Wednesday, an appeals court granted the right to fell Anne’s beloved chestnut tree. There is no information about when this might happen. In the past times her tree has been on death row (so to speak), it was sometimes imminent that it would be felled and sometimes months off. I have blogged about this several times before (I am against felling the tree, which looks very healthy to me, granted, seen via the web).
local copy of earthtimes article
I am shocked that the Anne Frank House is claiming that Anne’s tree is “as good as dead.” There are a lot of news photos out there of Anne’s tree in winter; of course it looks dead in the winter. They know very well the tree is not dead: there are videos of it on YouTube: a giant tree full of lush green leaves. I’ve seen dead trees; their leaves are dead and remain on the tree; spring comes, and the tree never comes back to life.
Anne’s tree has some problems, yes. But it’s not “as good as dead.” It’s an outrageous statement. Maybe the translation was poor. Presumably this beautiful video is from the summer of 2006. And this video is of the “amputation” the Anne Frank House talks about making it “as good as dead.” It took off maybe the top 25%, if that much.
Watch when they bring a branch down to the street for shredding, you can see how a single branch (one of many) that looked so small when it was cut out of the giant tree, looks as big as a tree itself. The first one they show is probably 15 feet tall. Scientists estimated that trunk is very rotted out, yet it’s supporting this massive living tree. In light of that, I think there is reason for skepticism of those scientific claims. I’m suspicious of this claim to web visitors that it is practically dead. I am thinking the second set of scientists could be right: those were the ones who convinced a judge to order the tree’s owner to search for alternatives to chopping it down (see the 21 Nov entry).
- 12-27-07 Here is a photo I grabbed off the webcam last summer (20 May 2007). So the tree was in full leaf then, too. (Her tree is on the right.)