Any student and ex-student of the University of Sydney will harbour fond thoughts and memories for the beloved jacaranda tree in the quadrangle. Mostly this love is a pragmatic one – it’s beautiful, yes, but when it blooms come spring you knew that the uni year was coming to a close and you could spend the next three months sinking unbelievable quantities of alcohol without the heavy shadow of exams and assignments hanging over your head.
The first tree was planted back in 1927 by Professor E. G. Waterhouse, but it was uprooted by prankster students several times over the following months and years, until he became sick of their shenanigans and planted a huge tree they couldn’t rip out of the ground. That’s the one we’ve got now.
It has been a fixture of the university ever since. It also enabled a kind of superstition passed from student to student, which dictated that if you didn’t start studying for your finals when the tree began to flower, you would absolutely fail.
However, it looks like the beloved jacaranda has copped a beating overnight – images posted to social media show that the tree uprooted and lying sprawled across the lawns.
— Jesse Scare-win (@ACatAteMyTweets) October 28, 2016
But this might not be an issue. Student newspaper Honi Soit reported back in 2014 that the tree is considered so key to university management that they allegedly keep three emergency jacarandas off-site, which sounds like the basis for the world’s most tedious espionage thriller.
Either way, it’s sad to see the tree in such a sorry state. We’ll keep you updated on this one.