Tulane University's Iconic Bead Tree is No More
Tulane University has bid farewell to its iconic Bead Tree. After a spate of bad luck turned the campus landmark into a safety hazard, university officials had no choice but to remove it from its longtime spot on Tuesday.
The nearly 30-year-old Nuttall oak, which had been strewn with Mardi Gras beads since Hurricane Katrina, sustained significant damage when it was struck by lightning several years ago. According to Tulane University, the lightning strike weakened its root system and made it vulnerable to termites. A termite infestation ultimately destroyed 10 feet of the tree's trunk and put it in danger of falling.
After announcing the sad news on social media, the university asked current and former students to share their favorite Bead Tree stories. The debut of Tulane's new Bead Tree is reportedly forthcoming.
"Since Hurricane Katrina, the Bead Tree has been a beloved tradition and favorite photo stop for Tulanians of all ages. I visited it on my first trip to campus and fell in love with it immediately," president Mike Fitts said in a news release. "While we are sad to see it go, we know the unity and celebration it embodied will continue as we plan to plant another tree in its place, which will become our new Bead Tree."
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RIP Bead Tree!