Rikuzentakata’s Miracle Tree Is Dying

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    Several months ago, I blogged about a single pine tree that was left standing after the March 11th tsunami swept away an entire forest in the city of Rikuzentakata. People saw the tree’s miraculous survival as a symbol of hope, and were hoping to preserve it as a living monument.

    Unfortunately, that won’t be possible. Experts have determined that salt water has killed the tree’s roots:

    Although the group used iron sheeting to protect the tree and pumped seawater out of the surrounding soil, the Japan Greenery Research and Development Center discovered in October that salt water had rotted most of the tree’s roots and efforts to save it would be futile.

    The civic group says it will leave the decaying tree alone.

    Yoshihisa Suzuki, head of the group said: “The tree has encouraged us to live positively. I’m very sorry we can’t do anything more to save it.”

    There are plans to take a graft from the tree and grow a new tree from it.

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