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Arson Fire? Poland's 750-Year-Old Tree 'Grandpa' Damaged by Flames

Image: Arson Fire? Poland's 750-Year-Old Tree 'Grandpa' Damaged by Flames
Firefighters battle the blaze on a 750-year-old oak tree near Szprotawa, Poland. (Nadlesnictwo Szprotawa/AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 24 Nov 2014 03:56 PM

A 750-year-old tree in Poland, believed to be the oldest in the country, was damaged by a suspected arson fire last week.

The tree, which was affectionately referred to as “grandpa” and was also called “Chrobry” for a medieval Polish king, was damaged by a fire that firefighters fought for more than 30 hours.

“I was sure that the ‘grandpa’ would survive me, but now I'm not so sure," deputy chief forest ranger Jerzy Wilanowski told The Associated Press. "We have to wait."

Wilanowski said it will only be determined if the tree was killed in the springtime, after seeing whether it develops new shoots or not.

The tree has a circumference of more than 33 feet and is about 92 feet tall.

The oak tree was declared a national monument in 1967, although laws were in place to protect it since before World War II. The tree is the third largest in Central Europe and marked a border between principalities in past centuries.

“What kind of smoldering anger must a man have to do something like that?” Never Yet Melted quoted from Polish news reports about the apparent arson fire.

The site said that Pope John Paul II blessed acorns from the tree in 2004. Those acorns then produced 500 seedlings, which became known as “Papal oaks,” and were planted throughout the country.



The AP said acorns were gathered from the tree after the fire, and also branches were cut to preserve genetic material.

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A 750-year-old tree in Poland, believed to be the oldest in the country, was damaged by a suspected arson fire last week.
arson, fire, poland, tree
291
2014-56-24
Monday, 24 Nov 2014 03:56 PM
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