The Ohio oak tree that was featured in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and is now heavily damaged and dying may have a chance to be saved, TMZ is reporting. During a strong wind storm that passed through north-central Ohio on July 29, 2011, the tree was split virtually in half.
At first, Mansfield officials were doubtful they could save the tree. But now the Mansfield Convention and Visitors Bureau is saying area leaders are determined to find a way to preserve the tree. No one in Mansfield wants to see the tree die, as it’s become a major tourist attraction after appearing in the 1994 drama, which starred Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
The majority of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ was shot during the summer of 1993 at the former Ohio State Reformatory, which closed three years prior. Freeman’s character Red travels to the tree on the advice of his best friend Andy, portrayed by Robbins, after he was paroled following a 40-year sentence. Red found the money and note Andy left for him at the tree, which directed him to Zihuatanejo in Mexico. The two reunited on a beach during the movie’s final scene.
But the Mansfield Convention and Visitors Bureau is encouraging people who want to keep the tree in its natural location to visit it now, while part of it remains standing. Mansfield officials are planning on meeting with the property owners within the next few weeks to determine what to do with the tree.
Written by: Karen benardello