Hiroshima City’s registered A-bombed trees to total 160 with one to be deleted from the list and one pine tree in Naka Ward to be added

by Taiki Yomura, Staff Writer

On May 25, the City of Hiroshima registered a pine tree that grows on private land in Funairi Saiwai-cho in the city’s Naka Ward as an A-bombed tree that conveys the reality of the atomic bombing. This is the first registration in five years. At the same time, a dead Aphananthe aspera (or, Muku tree) in Komachi in Naka Ward was deleted from the A-bombed tree list, bringing the total number of A-bombed trees in the city to 160 of 31 species.

The pine tree located about 1.9 kilometers southwest of the hypocenter is approximately 5.5 meters in height with a trunk circumference of 1.3 meters. In response to contact from a citizen regarding the tree, city’s staff members obtained aerial photos of Hiroshima taken before the atomic bombing from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, and confirmed the tree had existed in this location prior to the atomic bombing. A tree specialist estimated the tree is at least 100 years old. The privately-owned land is currently maintained by a wedding hall business operator, and is scheduled to open to the public in March 2023.

The Aphananthe aspera is 3.5 meters in height and 1.3 meters in trunk circumference. It is located in a green belt area on Peace Boulevard in front of Shirakami-sha Shrine about 530 meters from the hypocenter, but it was confirmed dead in fiscal 2021. The city government plans to cut the tree at the height of about 80 centimeters above ground, and install a description panel to tell visitors the tree experienced the atomic bombing.

Since fiscal 1996, the City of Hiroshima has registered trees that were exposed to the atomic bombing within about two kilometers from the hypocenter as A-bombed trees. Staff members at Hiroshima City’s Peace Promotion Division say, “The A-bombed trees are a symbol of life that survived the devastation of the atomic bomb. We would like as many people as possible to come and see these trees and share in thoughts and feelings for peace.”

(Originally published on May 26, 2022)