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The Survivor Tree Memorial Plaza NYC Painterly In addition to the 400 Swamp White Oak trees planted on The Memorial Plaza, there is also one Callery Pear tree. In October 2001, recovery workers discovered the severely damaged tree at Ground Zero. Members of the NYC Parks and Recreation Department removed it and nursed it back to health. Having survived the events of 9/11, the tree became known as the Survivor Tree. It was returned to the World Trade Center site in 2010 and now stands on the plaza as a symbol of resilience and perseverance.