Good Bye, Braddell Angsana

Every Sunday we go to Grandpa and Grandma’s home for dinner, and our journey takes us down Braddell Road.

Every Sunday without fail, I marvel at the magnificent angsana tree that stands in the middle of the road. It’s not just a grand dame of a tree (80-years-old!), it’s also a romantic, expensive oddity in practical, pragmatic Singapore. In 2005, authorities decided to spare the tree and build a new road around it, at an additional cost of $200,000. For me, the tree was a marker of a society that had come of age.

Every Sunday, the 5 seconds it took us to slow down and pass the tree was a time for quiet delight. In the tree, and in the society that would work its way around it.

Every Sunday until this Sunday.

This Sunday, the authorities, acting on complaints of “near accidents”, have decided to chop down the tree.

This Sunday, the three lane were narrowed into one, causing a long traffic jam.


This Sunday, this was what was left as we drove by.


This Sunday, an 80-year-old tree was brought down by men less than half her age.

This Sunday, Singapore became, for me, less than what I had thought she was.


One response to “Good Bye, Braddell Angsana

  1. Sigh, it’s a sad sight when these majestic trees get felled.
    We’ve had our own drama here in Oakville as well. Residents and supporters recently raised over C$300K to have a 250-yr old oak tree spared from urban expansion. But this poor old tree will have to endure road salt run-off and other environmental pressures when the road is built around it.

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