PHOTO: It Looks Like Someone Cut the Joshua Tree


In our forum last night, member “Hwy 190” shared the photo above that shows what clearly looks like a clean saw cut to the fallen Joshua tree — i.e., the actual tree from the inner cover of U2’s album. The forum member lives in the California desert and says s/he’s been visiting the site of the tree (which fell in 2000) regularly, including a visit a few days ago.

This past Sunday, I made my proverbial yearly hike out to the Tree with my dog to reminisce only to find that some hack and I do mean hack, decided it was a bright idea to take a hacksaw to one of the Tree’s limbs – evidently to remove an inch thick cross section as a souvenir. Are you kidding me? I won’t even elaborate as to how pathetic this is.

My most recent visit to the tree site was in October 2009 with several other @U2 staffers. We have a few dozen photos on Flickr from the visit — you can clearly see that the tree, although fallen and laying on the ground, doesn’t have any clean cuts like what you see in the photo above.


10 Responses to PHOTO: It Looks Like Someone Cut the Joshua Tree

  1. Doug Laidlaw February 11, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    I am truly outraged by this. I’m still convinced that it fell over due to natural causes either.

    • Kevin February 23, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

      How do we know this is true? Most of the time these types of “reports” are nothing but hoaxes.

  2. Doug Laidlaw February 11, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    I meant to say that “I am NOT convinced that it fell over due to natural causes.”

  3. Chris Lilyerd February 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    I’m outraged by this because it’s a chance that it’s a higher level fan like ourselves that did this

    So many people go to that oasis in the sand and pour their emotional hearts out in the log books….then some low life has to do this. It’s a symbol of social degradation at it’s finest.

  4. Eileen Cummings February 11, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Bad karma for them I really hope. Many selfish people out there.

  5. Brent February 12, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    I agree that this is very upsetting; especially since it now sets a precedent. I know it should clearly go without saying, but must we now possibly consider posting something reminding people to ‘take nothing except photographs’ or something to that effect? Very sad…

  6. nancy vogel February 23, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    This does not look like the inside of a Joshua Tree? Are they sure this was the one?

  7. m2 February 23, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Yes, Nancy, that’s the tree.

  8. Michael February 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    Wow, what a travesty! It’s like cutting the part of a legendary dead artists body off. I can see why so many famous peoples grave site’s are protected from douche bags and knuckleheads like this. For me this is such a holy ground I couldn’t imagine desecrating such a historical piece of musical history . I was there on 9-5-2014 you can see the video footage I took of the tree here and there is no damage to the tree at that time. The written word for the site is “Leave Something Behind!”
    Obviously these trolls may have been opportunistic hoping to sell pieces on eBay or display their desecration next to their collection of belly button lint in their parents basement, were they still live.

    I’m trying so hard to contain my level of anger and disgust because I was just planning a return trip to the location, this time to bring my kids ages 10, 12, 15, who have become the next generation of Joshua Tree followers. Now with this great adventure to a historic place, I will have to explain a modern day travesty to my children.

    Is there anything that can be done to protect the area. Can we set up a “Go Fund Me” like account and call on the U2 community to help fund a project to protect the site? Maybe someone knows of a preservation organization or someone within the Joshua Tree Park organization that could designate that area part of the park. Is the land owned by the state or a private party? But even these actions have consequences.

    The double edged sword of these action, I think, would ruin the feelings that come from this experience of a Holy Pilgrimage, so many fans have had, finding the tree and the whirlwind of personal feeling that come with it as you cross the sand and tundra and you realize you finally found it. Protecting it would involve disclosing its location and making it just another stop on somebody’s map, fan or not, and the true MAGIC and FEELINGS of finding the tree would be gone forever! I enjoyed watching the videos and reading all the stories of the experiences people had finding or trying to find the location of the tree. They were inspirational, funny, spine tingling, and captivating. Future stories and videos would be a true loss to the world and those hoping, planning, and ready to try the adventure, they would sadly never experience what those of us who have made the trek have!

    I’ve already searched and I’ve set up a permanent search on ebay for anyone posting and trying to sell parts of the tree. Other should watch too. If I see anything I will let the community know.

    – Desert sky, dream beneath the desert sky.
    The rivers run but soon run dry.
    We need new dreams tonight.

  9. Marc D. March 10, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    I was just there 2 weeks ago with my daughter for the first time, and what an amazing experience it was discovering the Tree. It took me a few moments to realize the branch had been cut, because there was so much to take in at one time, but how shocked and disappointed I was when I saw the branch. Pure disbelief!! But then again when I look at the world we live in, nothing surprises me anymore. Sad.