Anne Frank's Tree Is to Be Cut Down

The chestnut tree made famous by diarist Anne Frank, who gazed out on it from her hideaway in an attic in Amsterdam, is to be cut down. The tree is in very poor condition, due to an aggressive fungus. We hear about the tree from Patricia Bosboom of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

A note about Anne Frank now, and the chestnut tree she wrote about in her diary. The old white horse chestnut that blossomed outside of Frank's attic window and brought her comfort during her two years in hiding will soon be cut down.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

The tree is suffering from an aggressive fungus and leaf eating moths. Almost half of its wood has rotted away. It's thought to be between 150 and 170 years old.

Ms. PATRICIA BOSBOOM (Anne Frank House): It will be a great loss because it's a beautiful tree.

BLOCK: Patricia Bosboom is with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Ms. BOSBOOM: You can imagine that while she was in hiding watching out of the window for her was realizing how important freedom was for her.

NORRIS: And for others in hiding. On February 23, 1994, Anne Frank wrote this about time spent with her friend, Peter.

BLOCK: “The two of us looked out at the blue sky, the bare chestnut tree glistening with dew. The sea gulls and other birds and glinting with silver as they swooped through the air. And we were so moved and entranced that we couldn't speak.”

NORRIS: And despite her love of the tree. Patricia Bosboom of the Anne Frank House says the old chestnut's time is up.

Ms. BOSBOOM: The tree has already been seriously ill for a couple of years and the municipality of Amsterdam has tried everything to try and recover the tree but it hasn't worked out. And its condition is now so bad that there's nothing else to be done about the tree.

BLOCK: There is this bit of comforting news. Once the old tree is removed, a sapling taken from it will be planted in its place.

Ms. BOSBOOM: Even though it's going to be very small tree and it will take years for it to become as big as the tree is right now, in a way it's the same tree that's going to be planted on the old spot. And in a way the tree will live one.

NORRIS: Of course, the tree will also live on in Anne Frank's diary.

BLOCK: “May 13, 1944. Our chestnut tree is in full blossom. It is covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.”

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