Sapling from Anne Frank tree arrives at Sonoma State

January 26, 2010 2:01:54 PM PST
An 18-inch tall sapling from the horse chestnut tree that grew outside Anne Frank's home in Amsterdam has arrived at Sonoma State University.

SSU spokeswoman Jean Wasp said the sapling arrived in late December and it will now grow in a special locked shade house for three years to protect it from rain, rodents and insects.

The sapling passed an inspection by a state pathologist last week, Wasp said. In three years it will be planted at the foot of the Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Grove near the campus lakes area. When mature it will be 80 feet high and 75 feet wide, Wasp said.

SSU is the first of 11 locations to receive the sapling that was taken from the tree behind the annex where Anne Frank, her family and friends were in hiding from the Nazis for two years during World War II. The 150-year-old tree is battling a lethal fungus, Wasp said.

The Anne Frank Center USA and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam donated the 11 saplings to sites in the United States. The remaining saplings are awaiting processing in a Maryland facility, Wasp said. One of them will be planted on the grounds of the White House.

The Rohnert Park site also includes a 10-foot light tower sculpture created by SSU Professor Jann Nunn.

Signs near the Anne Frank tree on campus will include words Frank wrote in her diary: "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."