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Tolkien’s tree in Oxford to be cut down

‘Tolkien’s tree’ in Oxford to be cut down

'Tolkien's Tree' in Oxford University's Botanic GardenThe tree is said to have been one of JRR Tolkien’s favourites

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A 215-year-old black pine known as “Tolkien’s tree” in Oxford University’s Botanic Garden is to be felled after two of its branches came down.

The decision has been made by experts at Oxford City Council and the university after the large branches fell from the tree on Saturday.

Dr Alison Foster, of the Botanic Garden, said: “It’s a tree like no other – it’s just heart-breaking.”

The tree was a favourite of JRR Tolkien during his time in Oxford.

‘Crack appeared’

Ms Foster said staff heard noises coming from the tree and moved visitors away from the area of the walled garden shortly before the branches fell.

She said: “A crack appeared and then in about five minutes the branches came down.

“It’s really hard to say what the cause was – it’s something that just happens in old trees – there are suggestions that prolonged hot, dry weather can lead to this kind of thing.”

An area around the tree has been closed to the public while the tree is felled, a process which is expected to take several weeks.

The Botanic Garden said the tree was thought to have been planted in 1799 from a seed collected by the third Sherardian Professor of Botany, John Sibthorp, in Austria.

The garden said it intended to propagate from the black pine.

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings while living and working in Oxford.



The Australian tells of Tolkien & Lewis

Biopic on JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis in works

Media and Entertainment Writer

AN Australian producer is leading the battle to bring to screen the story of JRR Tolkien’s relationship with his University of Oxford colleague CS Lewis.

Attractive Films’ Wernher Pramschufer describes his coming feature film, Tolkien & Lewis, as “obviously one of the most extraordinary stories yet untold”.

Brisbane-based Pramschufer says he anticipates his production will begin filming in Britain in November with Con Air and The Expendables 2’s Simon West directing.

The film looks to capitalise on the enduring appeal of both writers, enhanced by recent successful cinema adaptations of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbitand Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series. Each of the recent five films adapted from Tolkien’s books by Peter Jackson have earned, on average, $US1 billion in box-office receipts alone.

Tolkien & Lewis, written by Australian Jacqueline Cook, explores how the devout Catholic Tolkien converted Lewis to Christianity, which permeated his books. The two later fell out as Lewis attained fame.

“It’s not an overtly Christian film as such but if you are (Christian), you will feel a great deal of warmth,” producer Pramschufer says. “They were two colossal intellects with a great grasp of English and fantasy who were close but became very distant because of their rivalry.”

The dual British-Australian national says the film will be made in Britain. “It is a British film as such but it has been developed and produced in Australia,” he says. “And this comes from the idea of taking Australian cinema to the world. we want to make films that have global appeal rather than just be in the cinemas for one day.”