After dissuading Oliver (and just about anyone else) from collecting taxes in Boston, and after several other meetings, someone affixed a sign to the elm bearing the words The Tree of Liberty. The sign appeared on September 11, 1765 and word soon spread throughout the colonies, inspiring other opponents of the Stamp Act to designate a Liberty Tree in their own community.
By 1770, the tree had become more than a meeting place and a symbol for the colonists- it had become a symbol of colonial ingratitude in Britain. The tree and its meetings were mentioned frequently in London newspapers, and many remarked that it should be removed as a lesson to the colonists. This is precisely what occurred in 1765 when British troops aided by Loyalists in Boston took their revenge upon the elm tree.
Cambridge August 31 – The Enemies to Liberty and America, headed by Tom Gage, lately gave a notable Specimen of their Hatred of the very Name of Liberty. A Party of them, of whom one Job Williams was the Ringleader,a few Days since, repaired to a Tree at the South End of Boston, known by the Name of Liberty Tree, and, armed with Axes, etc. made a furious Attack upon it. After a long Spell of laughing and grinning, sweating, swearing and foaming, with Malice diabolical, they cut down a Tree because it bore the Name of Liberty.- New-England Chronicle1