An oak tree planted in Canberra by Eleanor Roosevelt has been blown over

The oak tree planted by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Image: US Embassy

An American Oak planted by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the US Embassy in Canberra during World War II has been blow down.

Ambassador John Berry said the tree fell gracefully in windy weather, avoiding critical utility connections and staff.

The tree, commonly called Eleanor, was planted in 1943 when Eleanor Roosevelt visited Canberra during a tour across the Pacific, inspecting Red Cross installations and speaking to 400,000 US service personnel.

The planting in 1943. Image: US Embassy

“We’re waiting for the wood to dry out to see how we can repurpose this tree in a manner that befits its legacy, and we’re already making plans to plant a sapling (from the original) in its place.

“Other saplings from Eleanor’s oak have been planted as far away as Perth, with others having been donated to Victoria Barracks in Sydney and the Canberra Islamic Centre in the ACT.”

Almost one year ago, former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce marked the 70th anniversary of Mrs Roosevelt’s visit to Canberra.

A Red Box Gum was planted not far from Eleanor’s tree.

“We were saddened to see this historic symbol come to a natural end, but of course our alliance, like the tree’s many offspring, is still firmly rooted and continues to grow,” Berry says.

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest serving First Lady, from March 1933 to April 1945 during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms in office.

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