pinus-nigra Tolkien scholar and writer John Garth writes to tell us of a video documenting the sad end of a giant Black Pine (Pinus nigra) at the University of Oxford Botanic Gardens that J.R.R. Tolkien was known to have loved.

When the Botanic Garden’s Pinus nigra was felled in August, there was reaction worldwide. The pine, much-loved by visitors, was known to be a favourite of JRR Tolkien, whose writings memorably celebrate and champion trees.

But during more than two centuries the pine had endured many extremes of weather, and on 26 July one visitor captured the moment two colossal branches broke away — graphic evidence of the dangers it now posed.

In a curious inversion, one notes that Pinus nigra appears to be classified as an invasive pest species (or weed, if you prefer) in New Zealand: its propagation and sale is banned in that country.

You can check out the video that reveals the moment when the pair of branches on the Botanic Gardens broke off in a time-lapse film here at Oxford Today.