SEOUL, July 29 (Yonhap) -- Heritage experts on Friday conducted an on-site inspection of an iconic hackberry tree featured in the popular TV series "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" to review whether it is valuable enough to be designated as a natural monument.
The tree, presumed to be 500 years old, is located on a hill in Dongbu Village in the southern city of Changwon. It has gained public interest since it appeared in last week's episodes 7 and 8 of the legal drama, which revolves around an ingenious rookie lawyer with autism spectrum disorder.
Experts from the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) examined the tree for about 40 minutes and held a meeting with residents for about an hour.
"The members of the natural monument subcommittee will strictly investigate the hackberry tree's value as a natural monument." said Chun Young-woo, chairman of the Cultural Heritage Committee under the CHA. He also chairs the natural monument subcommittee.
"I would like to thank the villagers who have protected the natural heritage, and the writer of the drama," he added.
In the drama, lawyer Woo and her colleagues fight against the local government's plan to construct a road that would cut through a fictional village. They won the case by having the tree designated as a natural monument.
The tree is 16 meters high and 6.8 meters in circumference and has a crown spread of 27 meters.
There are currently two hackberry trees designated as natural monuments -- in the southeastern county of Yecheon and southwestern county of Gochang.