Tolkien Gateway


Tolkien next to a Black Pine in 1973
Laocoon, the favourite Tolkien tree

Laocoon was the name Tolkien gave to one of his favourite trees at the Botanic Garden of Oxford. Laocoon was a Black Pine, lat. Pinus nigra

On the last known photograph of Tolkien (taken 9 August 1973), he appears standing next to the tree.[1]

According to Dr Stephen Harris of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences:

The received wisdom regarding the black pine is that it was planted in 1799 from seed that was collected by the Third Sherardian Professor of Botany, John Sibthorp, in Austria. We know that Sibthorp sent considerable amounts of plant material to Oxford from the eastern Mediterranean in 1786/87 and that he was in Austria in 1785. He was also in regions of Black Pine growth in 1795 but he died in 1796.

If the story of the Black Pine is true then it should be at least 215 years old.

The tree suffered a collapse on the 26 July 2014 and is to be cut down due to safety concerns.[3][4]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links


  1. The Queen of Hobbits for sale at (accessed 24 June 2011)
  2. The black pine at Botanic Garden Official website
  3. Collapse of the Tolkien tree at
  4. The black pine at Botanic Garden Official website