Hackberry tree from 'Extraordinary Attorney Woo' to soon be Korean national monument

The hackberry tree featured in ENA's hit drama series ″Extraordinary Attorney Woo″ will soon become Korea's next national monument. [YONHAP]

The hackberry tree that appeared on an episode of ENA hit series “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” will soon be designated a Korean natural monument, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) Thursday.

The 500-year-old, 16-meter-tall (52-foot-tall) hackberry tree located in the village of Bukburi in Changwon, South Gyeongsang, appeared on the series’ eighth episode, which aired on July 21.

In the show, the towering tree is said to have protected the fictional neighborhood of Sodeok-dong for centuries, but now the town is in danger of being wiped out due to road construction plans. At the end of the episode, the tree is designated as a natural monument and saves the town.

The events of the episode became reality after the episode aired and the tree went viral.

Reflecting the national interest, the CHA conducted an investigation with three members of the Cultural Heritage Committee on July 29 as per the Cultural Heritage Protection Act to review the value of the tree as a natural monument.

The committee evaluated the tree to be well-preserved, saying its shape with a wide crown is particularly beautiful.

The investigation also revealed that the tree holds significant historical and cultural value: a Danseonam temple has existed next to the tree for many years, and there is a village tradition that has been handed down where villagers hold dangsanje, or a village ritual at Dangsan Shrine, on the first day of the 10th lunar month every year, which was confirmed through oral testimony and historical records.

The administration plans to receive opinions for 30 days, after which the tree will be designated as a natural moment by the committee.