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Japan’s lone pine felled for posterity

Japan’s “miracle” lone pine tree, a symbol of hope after last year’s horrendous tsunami was felled and delivered to a lumber mill in Yatomi, Aichi Prefecture. The company will start treating the trunk as part of preservation efforts. Source: Asahi Shimbun

It is planned for the preserved tree to be returned to the beach where it stood for some 270 years until the Great East Japan earthquake of March 11, 2011 that gave rise to a towering tsunami which devasted the northeastern coastline.

It was the only tree left standing among 70,000 or so pines trees in the Takata Matsubara forest in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture.

The tree became a symbol of hope for reconstruction and the resiliency of survivors.

Lumber company, Yatomi Seizai will remove the core of the trunk and the work will be completed in about two months.

The 19-meter trunk was cut into three parts and transported from Rikuzentakata to the mill, about 600 kilometers away, by a truck.

“I hope it will stand as it used to, literally becoming a pine tree of hope,” said Tokujiro Kato, 47-year-old president of the company.

The trunk will be sliced into nine sections, which will eventually be put together in Rikuzentakata, with a carbon pole inside to keep it upright.

The tree will be returned to its original spot in February 2013.