Winds Topple Famous Shawshank Tree
Ohio tree 'symbolized hope' to movie's fans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2016 1:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – If Red were to get out of Shawshank State Prison today, he'd never be able to find the big oak tree "like something out of a Robert Frost poem" where Andy Dufresne told him to dig, because that tree is history. Authorities say what was left of the tree in Lucas, Ohio, made famous by the movie was toppled last week by strong winds, the Mansfield News Journal reports. Half of the tree, which was on private property but could easily be seen from the edge of Malabar Farm State Park, fell down in July 2011 when the tree was split by lightning. Authorities believe the tree, which attracted thousands of visitors every year, was around 200 years old.

The tree was part of the "Shawshank Trail" of Ohio locations from the beloved 1994 movie, and tourist authorities say the loss will leave some visitors heartbroken. "The tree symbolizes hope" to visitors, Jodie Snavely, an official with the Mansfield/Richland Convention and Visitors Bureau, tells the New York Times. "When they can actually come and see that, it's very touching to them, and it means a lot to them." But all hope is not lost: Snavely says the half of the tree that came down in 2011 is on display at the former Ohio State Reformatory, which was Shawshank in the movie and is now a museum.