Movie fans are mourning the fallen oak

By Oliver Gettell
July 26, 2016 at 08:21 PM EDT
Jodie Snavely via AP

If a tree falls in rural Ohio, does it make a fuss? It does if it’s the majestic 200-year-old white oak from The Shawshank Redemption.

According to the Mansfield News Journal, what was left of a famous tree featured in the final scenes of the 1994 prison-break drama was recently toppled by heavy winds. (A portion of the tree was previously split off by a lightning strike in 2011.)

The tree, which lies on private property but is viewable from a nearby state park, is featured in a poignant Shawshank scene in which Morgan Freeman’s Red reads a letter from his friend Andy (Tim Robbins).

“Hope is a good thing,” the letter says, “maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.”

Shawshank fans have been mourning the tree, a popular tourist attraction, both in person and on social media. “#RIP Shawshank Redemption tree, you will be missed,” one representative tweet said.

It’s unclear what will become of the fallen oak. “We don’t know what’s going to happen to it,” Jodie Snavely of the Mansfield and Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau in Ohio told the Associated Press on Monday. “We hope the owner utilizes it for the good of the Shawshank fans.”

 

Watch the tree’s Shawshank cameo above.

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