Survivor Tree

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A Callery pear tree survived the 911 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in NYC on 11 September 2001 and is aptly named the Survivor Tree.

The tree symbolizes hope and resilience as it stood the test and survived against all odds. 

In this article, we will learn the story behind this tree, how it got its name and how it inspires people.

Discovery and Rescue

When rescue workers were picking through the debris at Ground Zero following the horrific attacks, they came across a fantastic discovery.

Some workers discovered the Survivor Tree buried in rubble at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. 

It was found almost a month later, in October 2001, with split roots and broken, charred limbs.

The tree was broken and burnt, much like the human spirit. Only three of its branches still had leaves; the others were severely scorched. 

This tree clung to life despite the severe damage. 

Rescue workers gently took the tree down, hoping that it might survive.

Enjoy this remarkable symbol of resilience by spending time with the Survivor Tree during your visit. 

Secure the perfect ticket for your 9/11 visit today.

Rehabilitation and Return

The Survivor Tree received meticulous care at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. 

Initially, there were doubts about its survival. Still, with time and dedicated attention, the tree began to show signs of recovery. 

Over the years, it grew from eight to 30 feet tall, sprouting new branches and flowering in spring.

Even a dove nested in its branches, a powerful symbol of resilience in tragedy.

In a profoundly emotional ceremony, the tree was replanted at the 9/11 Memorial in 2010, symbolizing the city’s journey of healing and renewal.


The Survivor Tree at the Memorial is more than just a tree; it’s a symbol of strength and resilience. 

Its scarred bark tells the story of the attacks, while its new growth signifies hope for the future. 

This tree’s beauty and resilience serve as a reminder that even in the darkest times, life finds a way to persevere. 

Across different locations, including the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and Hiroshima, Japan, similar trees are symbols of resilience, inspiring hope in those who witness their growth and recovery.

Survivor Tree Seedling Program

In collaboration with John Bowne High School in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens and Bartlett Tree Experts of Stamford, Connecticut, the Survivor Tree Seedling Program was started on 11 September 2013. 

As a part of this initiative, three seedlings from the Survivor Tree are presented to survivors of tragedies each year as a symbol of resiliency and hope. 

The young trees descending from the original Survivor Tree, spreading the message of hope amidst tragedy,

Location and Viewing

The Survivor Tree is situated at the 911 Memorial site, close to the South Pool, outside the 911 Museum.

As you walk amongst the reflecting pools and engraved names, take a moment to stand beside this remarkable tree. 

The quiet strength and enduring spirit are a powerful reminder of the human capacity for resilience and the unwavering hope that moves life forward.

Book your 911 Museum and Memorial tickets now and learn first-hand accounts of the tragic events from that dark day in 2001.