Watch the moment two huge branches crashed down … and how the Botanic Garden’s much-loved black pine was felled.

Tolkien's Tree - the collapse of the black pine at the Oxford Botanic Garden

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. Here Jill Walker, assistant to the director of the Botanic Garden, has combined Mark Bauer’s phone footage with a record of the tree in its full glory and a time-lapse video of its stately dismantlement.

Plans are afoot to use the timber creatively to celebrate this much-loved tree: for more information watch the websites of the Botanic Garden and the Tolkien Society.

Phone footage courtesy of Mark Bauer. Music: Plantopia by PlusPlus, via the Free Music Archive.