Tilleul de Gérouville in Gérouville, Belgium

Here is an old tree, dead, full of scars and an interesting story. This is the Tilleul de Gérouville, or the Gérouville Linden. Despite the name, the tree is actually an elm, not a linden. The species may have been confused because it was placed on the Linden square.

This tree is more than 600 years old. In 1258, when the city of Gérouville was founded, four trees were planted, one at each corner of the main square. While the three others died quickly, this particular one lived until 1876 when a storm made it fall, as its trunk was getting hollow.

The tree was cut in sections, and a senator called Lambiotte bought the trunk. He got some work done inside the empty trunk so that six or seven people could sit on a bench, put a conical thatch roof on it, and got the tree moved to his house in Schaerbeek. He even got it exhibited at the 1880 Brussels International Fair.

In 1922, Mister Lambiotte gave it back to the city of Gérouville, and the tree got placed close to where it once was, on the Place des Tilleuls, which gave it its mistaken name of Tilleul de Gérouville (again, it is an elm tree).

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