A Holy Tree Cast Down By Vandals
LIANE HANSEN, host:
As if the English weren't already crying in their pints over tough times at home, now comes this: Last week, vandals sawed the limbs off the Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree, reducing it to a stump. The tree is thought by some to have ties to the earliest days of Christianity, and each year local children cut sprigs from it to garnish the Queen's Christmas dining table.
Legend has it that the thorn tree sprouted from the staff of St. Joseph of Arimathea after he arrived in England from the Middle East 2,000 years ago. Experts says this type of thorn tree usually lives for just 100 years, but Glastonbury residents have kept the line going by periodically taking clippings to plant new trees.
All is not lost, according to Tony Kirkham of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. He says of the tree: It will obviously be deformed but it will put grafts out next spring. The Holy Thorn Tree could recover in about 10 years.
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