The Survivor Tree at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza

The Survivor Tree, Summer 2016
There are about  four hundred  white oak trees planted on the National September 11 Memorial plaza and  the only one   Callery pear tree. The oaks had been raising    for five years in New Jersey, about 40 miles from the World Trade Center site.  A  pear  was planted  at the eastern edge of the original World Trade Center plaza in the 1970s.

November 2011
A month after the collapse of the Twin Towers, in October 2001,  workers on the site discovered in the rubble at Ground Zero a few green leaves showing through the gray concrete and ash.  The tree  was badly burned and broken, with little chance of recovery. The tree, that   measured eight feet,  was then removed from the site and nursed back to health   in the Bronx, at the Parks Department’s Arthur Ross Nursery in Van Cortlandt Park.

The March 2010 nor'easter  impacted the Northeastern  part of  United  States    resulting in at least nine deaths.  Winds of up to 70 miles per hour   snapped power lines  and  trees . Among these trees was  the Callery pear tree form 9-11 site.  The  tree was uprooted in powerful storm.  Again, the tree survived, and caretakers righted the tree, examined roots, pruned branches and secured it with cables. December 2010  it was restored to Ground Zero.  


March 2010
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and  9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels  planted the “survivor tree,”  on December 22, 2010, marking its homecoming to the World Trade Center site.

 “The presence of the Survivor Tree on the Memorial Plaza will symbolize New York City’s and this nation’s resilience after the attacks,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Like the thousands of courageous stories of survival that arose from the ashes of the World Trade Center, the story of this tree also will live on and inspire many.”

In late   August 2011 hurricane Irene  hit New York.  Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction and at least 56 deaths.
The Memorial has weathered tropical storm Irene, and it remains as strong as the hundreds of men and women dedicated to building it,” 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said in a statement. “And true to its name, the Survivor Tree is standing tall at the Memorial.”

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum  was among the many New York cultural institutions that suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy.  River surges caused serious flooding at the foundation level of the World Trade Center.  Inside the visitor center and a private entrance room for victims' families, about 4 feet   of water ruined the lower sections of the sheet-rock walls , In the unfinished museum, the water rose as high as 8 feet.  It had taken about a week to drain the floodwaters — as high as 10 feet  in some  places — from the 16-acre site.
 And  the “Survivor Tree”  continues to live up to its name and stands tall among the oak trees at the Memorial .
November 2015
In November 2015  a tribute was held at the site of the September 11 attacks in a show of support to France and a response to the suicide bombings and shootings that killed at least 129 people in Paris. Flowers in blue, white and red were placed at the foot of the Survivor Tree  during the ceremony.
 Aside from the Callery pear Survivor Tree, there are six other survivor of the 9/11 attack, all of which are now planted near New York City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge.