Isaac Newton's Apple Tree Fenced Off From Tourists

Isaac Newton's Apple Tree Fenced Off From Tourists

Walwyn, flickr

Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree has been fenced off to protect it from the damaging effects of pesky gravity and apple loving tourists.

Visitors to Newton's childhood home of Woolsthorpe Manor, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, are said to be damaging the tree's roots. So, a willow fence now encircles the site where the great thinker formed his theory.

The National Trust, which owns the house and grounds, said the fence was meant to preserve the tree rather than exclude visitors.

"Visitor numbers have gone up by around 50 per cent, to 33,000 a year in three years. The more people who visit, the more the soil will become compacted around the tree and over the roots," Ann Moynihan, an organization official, told the Daily Mail.

The tree already withstood a fair amount of damage in an 1890 storm that blew it over. It re-rooted itself, but grew back in an "inverted S shape."

But visitors to the site can still enjoy apples from the tree, which is of the Flower of Kent variety and produces green fruit.

Fun fact: Sir Isaac Newton never actually left an account of his own confirming the legendary falling apple story. Rather, it appeared in a 1727 book by French philosopher Voltaire published the year Newton died.

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