A box office flop when it was originally released, The Shawshank Redemption, has become one of the most beloved films of all-time among moviegoers. Therefore, it will likely come as sad news to many that an iconic location in the film no longer exists. The tree that acts as a marker that leads Morgan Freeman's character Red on the path to seeing his friend Andy again has been cut down, and will probably become furniture.
The truth is that taking the tree down was no real surprise, and probably should have happened much sooner. Back in 2011, the tree was mostly knocked over following major storms and, according to TMZ, it saw more damage in a storm last summer. As such, it likely didn't look much like the tree that people remember from The Shawshank Redemption anyway. Still, if it was on your bucket list to see the tree at some point, that time has passed.
The tree is located in a field in Ohio, as opposed to Maine where the movie is actually set. It was over 200-years-old, but co-owner of the property Dan Dees has decided he can use the land for farming and he used a tractor to pull what was left of the tree out of the ground. He says he's received offers from people to purchase parts of the tree, though he says he has no plans to sell any of it. He himself plans to turn the tree into either a bench or a table.
Owning a table made from the Shawshank Redemption tree would certainly be a one of a kind movie memento to have. We can assume that the people looking to buy chunks of the tree would be interested in doing something similar. There's something fitting about sitting outside with a cold beer after working on your house, maybe your roof, at a table that was part of The Shawshank Redemption.
The tree comes into play in the film in one of the most emotional moments of the story. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) tells his friend Red (Morgan Freeman) about a place he would go if he ever got out. He tells Red that if he ever gets out he should go looking for the same tree in the same hayfield. Without much to go on Red begins to search Maine hayfields, before finally coming across the right one with the rock wall and the large oak tree. Check out the scene below.
The tree may be gone but the beauty of film is that it can live forever there. Now that the public has embraced The Shawshank Redemption we don't expect the love for the film to falter for decades to come. People could very well see that tree standing there for another 200 years.