The Official Chestnut

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The Official Chestnut

The Official Chestnut

Apparently, it’s the first day of spring, even though the Spring Equinox is still a couple of weeks away.

But here near Lake Geneva, the oracle has spoken – and that oracle is the Official Chestnut of the city, located in the Old Town’s lovely Promenade de la Treille. The apparition of the first leaf on this tree signifies the start of spring in this region, as determined by a Geneva city functionary known as a sautier, a grounds watchman (an official post in Geneva since 1483) . This is the third tree to be dubbed the official season starter, in service since 1929. The previous two trees are gone, but the tradition dates back to 1818. The tree has its own official plaque.

And I must say, it is feeling very springlike out – the sun is shining, there’s a brisk but unwinterly breeze about, and I am definitely hearing the siren song of the garden calling.

The Official Chestnut if full leaf. Source: City of Geneva

The Official Chestnut if full leaf.
Source: City of Geneva

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