Of vandals, thorns and blooms

Do you remember vile scrubs hacked away at the Holy Thorn Tree in Glastonbury, England?

I found in The Mail a story that the Thorn Tree is blooming.

Bud by bud.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. priests wife says:

    This is weird…I dreamt about this tree last night.

    Can’t they put a fence around it to protect it? Lesser trees like our local ‘great fig’ have more protection.

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    Not blooming yet, but budding out – one or more leaf buds have appeared near the top of the trunk.

    As I noted on the original thread, hawthorn is frequently “pollarded” i.e. cut back severely in order to encourage the growth of numerous young shoots at the site of the pruning. It should recover quite nicely. Budding out early in the spring is right on schedule. By fall it should have a tight cluster of new shoots at the top and maybe a few lower down.

    It will permanently change the tree’s silhouette but at this point it’s unlikely to die.

  3. Ellen says:

    Good news. I hope it’s a harbinger of a renewal of faith in Great Britain.

  4. Tim Ferguson says:

    dying, yet behold we live! Here’s hoping it’s a portent of a revivification of the Faith in Mary’s Dowry

  5. Laurinda1230 says:

    Beautiful, glad to know it buds/blooms/grows to renew our hope!

  6. Maria says:

    Hi Friends,

    I have to admit that I personally do not particularly believe in the authenticity of the story behind the tree, but at the same time, I know some very gentle and kind folk who do, and who am I to argue the point – I could be wrong couldn’t I.

    I am glad however that this tree is sprouting and it shows if nothing else that Gods creativity is far superior to mans’ destructive spitefulness.

    Glory to God!

  7. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Succisa Virescit
    “Cut down, it grows back stronger”
    Motto of the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino

  8. The Cobbler says:

    Bud by bud!


  9. Re: protection — As with English holy wells, I believe you’re supposed to be able to tie ribbons or rags onto the tree as a symbol of the prayer you’ve said there to the Lord, or as thanks for favors received. So it’s a bit hard to follow the traditional devotions if you can’t actually reach the tree, although the hoop seems to be some sort of compromise.

  10. frdanbecker says:

    Meanwhile, a group of Irish priests are whining about the proposed blooming of this tree.

  11. amenamen says:

    @ “Meanwhile, a group of Irish priests are whining about the proposed blooming of this tree.”

    Or maybe we should ask: where were those Irish priests on the night that the tree was cut down?

  12. the_ox says:

    Read deeper in the story and you will find something that darkens it;

    …The council enlisted the help of Peter Frearson, a self-titled pagan wizard who happens to run his own horticultural business.. nicknamed the Garden Wizard, had other ideas to ensure the tree’s revival.

  13. ghlad says:

    Yeah, the additional bit about the pagan “Garden Wizard” is horrendously stupid… however, let’s hope that the city of Glastonbury merely hired a horticulturalist, and that the journalist who wrote this story found out about the pagan wizardry afterward and just decided (out of bad taste) to include it as a major focus of the story.

    I’m not familiar enough with the tree to know who maintains it… hopefully it’s the city and not the local Chancery who employs the pagan wizardry into their service.

    (I did laugh at how the Garden Wizard seemed to scoff at the “positive energies” and hand-holding bits.)

  14. sejoga says:

    Concerning the wizard thing, it does actually sound like the man was chosen because he actually knew something about taking care of the tree, and he just happens also to be a self-proclaimed pagan wizard.

    At the very least, it’s clear that however much he may or may not have approved of the circling around the tree to give it “positive energies”, he knew that it wasn’t going to do any better than a more scientific approach to healing the tree.

    It doesn’t much bother me what he believes, since he appears to be approaching the issue from a rational standpoint.

  15. AnAmericanMother says:

    I guess a self-ordained pagan showing up was inevitable, since the various groups of Wiccans and what not revere Glastonbury for their own reasons, mostly associated with ley lines and misunderstandings of Arthurian legends . . . . [ you have to imagine the eye-roll here ]

    But it sounds like he applied good common sense and sound horticultural principles, so good on him. Maybe he’ll convert.

  16. I have to wonder how the neopagans deal with the obvious Christian elements to the Arthurian legends.

    But then, if references for Celtic mythology can bang on about pre-Christian versions of the Breton legend of Dahut and the fall of Ker Ys (which first appears in a life of the obscure Saint Guenole/Winwaloe/Winwallus/etc., over 1000 years after the Christianization of the area!)…

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