Sierra Leone’s oldest cotton tree fall due to heavy storm

Written by on May 25, 2023

A towering cotton tree of over several hundred years in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, has been brought down by a heavy storm.

President Julius Maada Bio said the tree fell after a downpour on Wednesday night, describing it as a “great loss to the nation”.

He said the tree which appears on the nation’s banknotes was a symbol of liberty for early settlers.

The cotton tree said to be the oldest of its kind in the country, was just 300m away from the Freedom Steps, climbed by newly arrived freed slaves who offered prayers at the tree before making Freetown their home.

The trunk and roots remain in place, suggesting that new shoots could grow into a new tree.

President Julius Maada Bio and other officials are expected to visit the site to determine what to do.

However, some Christians have hailed the tree’s demise, saying it was used for witchcraft.

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