Work begins to extract, preserve stump of “miracle pine tree”

Kyodo

Work began Monday to uproot the stump of the so-called miracle pine, the only one of about 70,000 pine trees along a scenic stretch of Iwate Prefecture coastline left standing after the devastating tsunami spawned by the Great East Japan Earthquake last year.

The remains of the tree, which is believed to have been more than 260 years old, will be returned to the original site in Rikuzentakata in February after its is restored at a research institute in Kyoto.

The three-day removal process involves two earth-moving vehicles that will clear the area around the stump, which will then be extracted using shovels and cranes Tuesday and Wednesday.