A Callery pear tree known as the Survivor Tree is seen among the Memorial’s white oak trees. The Survivor Tree’s dark green leaves stand in contrast to the yellow-green leaves of the oaks.
Photo by Jin S. Lee

The Survivor Tree

A Callery pear tree became known as the “Survivor Tree” after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center.

In October 2001, a severely damaged tree was discovered at Ground Zero, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.

Survivor Tree Seedling Program

A Callery pear tree known as the Survivor Tree is adorned with red, white, and blue ribbons and flowers on a fall day.
Photo by Jin S. Lee

With environmental concerns in mind, we have temporarily paused this program through which we distributed Survivor Tree seedlings to communities affected by grand-scale tragedy. We plan to relaunch it with an alternative type of tree seedlings from the Memorial ahead of the 25th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.