On Tuesday afternoon Tulane University’s iconic Bead Tree was removed from its longtime spot on the uptown campus. The nearly 30-year-old Nuttall oak sustained damage when it was struck by lightning several years ago, which weakened its root system. The lightning strike left the tree vulnerable to termites, which destroyed 10 feet of its trunk, putting the tree in danger of falling. While the damage occurred some time ago, the tree’s death occurred more quickly than anticipated — necessitating emergency removal to ensure campus safety, especially considering Wave Goodbye will be held on Friday, May 17.
According to Tulane landscapers, the beads adorning the tree did not contribute to its demise.
“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. 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,” said President Mike Fitts.