9/11 'Survivor Tree' Blossoms At Start Of Spring

03/20/2012 07:38 pm ET

NEW YORK -- A pear tree that miraculously survived the Sept. 11 terror attack blossomed at ground zero on the first day of spring.

The "Survivor Tree" – as it's been dubbed – was discovered amid the smoldering rubble, limbs lifeless, roots snapped, trunk blackened. Workers freed it and it was nursed back to health in a Bronx park before it was replanted.

Now topping 30 feet – four times its size in 2001 – it towers above other trees in Memorial Plaza at the World Trade Center. On Tuesday, it sprouted white blossoms, seen for the first time by visitors to the 9/11 memorial that opened last September.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the tree is a testament to New York's "ability to endure" and "unshakeable belief in a brighter future."

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