Sixteen swamp white oaks arrived this weekend to be planted for the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero. The trees, which have been cultivated for four years at a New Jersey nursery, will line an 8-acre plaza around the two pools built on the footprints of the destroyed Twin Towers. The oaks were selected for their durability, color — they turn amber and golden brown in autumn — and symbolism, representing life and regeneration.

 

The trees, which already average 30 feet, were originally selected from New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania, the three states that lost the most lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

 

“It will be a sacred place where people can come together,” 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels told the New York Post. “To see trees is sort of saying you can have life back on this site.”