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In the movie, there is a scene in a flashback with Newt showing Leta a Bowtruckle in a tree. Were Newt and Leta at the Whomping Willow? I thought it dated to the 1970s. Lupin said it was grown, because he went to Hogwarts.

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    Can you provide a video or a picture? Where did you see them? – Lefteris008 Jun 24 '20 at 19:35
  • There is a scene in the flashback with Newt showing Leta a Bowtruckle in a tree. The tree looks like the Whomping Willow. – user35971 Jun 24 '20 at 20:02
  • Why do you expect it to be the whomping willow? Do they specify that the tree is at the place where whomping willo is currently supposed to be in? – user13267 Jun 26 '20 at 4:23
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If you are talking about the scene where Newt is showing Leta a Bowtruckle then no, it is just a random tree:

Random tree

Here is the Whomping Willow for comparison:

Whomping Willow

Not to mention that they would have been in trouble if they were standing next to it.

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  • Random, if especially gnarled. – Spencer Jun 24 '20 at 21:58
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    It's also not a willow tree of any kind, whomping or otherwise. Willows are very distinctive in appearance, with lots of very thin branches, rather than fewer, thicker branches, as these pictures clearly show. – Darrel Hoffman Jun 25 '20 at 13:35
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In Chapter Ten of Prisoner of Azkaban Lupin explicitly states that the Whomping Willow was planted the year he started at Hogwarts:

“They planted the Whomping Willow the same year that I arrived at Hogwarts.

As that was many years after Newt attended Hogwarts, the tree in question cannot be the Whomping Willow.

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No, the Whomping Willow was not there.

In the official screenplay, where Newt and Leta were is referred to as Bowtruckle Island. There is no mention of the Whomping Willow being present whatsoever.

EXT. HOGWARTS LAKE, BOWTRUCKLE ISLAND—FOURTEEN YEARS PREVIOUSLY—EVENING

NEWT finds LETA sitting by the lake, tearstained, eyes swollen. They look at each other.

16-YEAR-OLD LETA
I don’t want to talk about it!

He holds out his hand and she lets him pull her up. He leads her past a few trees until they reach the one where Bowtruckles are climbing and fighting and playing. They freeze at the humans’ approach but relax when they recognize NEWT. He holds out a finger. One of them jumps on.

16-YEAR-OLD NEWT
They know me, or they’d hide. They only nest in trees with wand-quality wood, did you know that?
(beat)
And they have very complex social lives. If you watch them for long enough, you realize . . .”
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

Since none of the trees are ever referred to as the Whomping Willow, the Whomping Willow was not at Hogwarts until Lupin’s first year there, and the tree Newt and Leta were near never whomped anyone that tried to approach them, the logical conclusion is that the Whomping Willow was not there. Once anyone got close to it, it started trying to hit them.

‘Lumos!’ he whispered.

The wand-light showed him the trunk of a thick tree; they had chased Scabbers into the shadow of the Whomping Willow and its branches were creaking as though in a high wind, whipping backwards and forwards to stop them going nearer.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 17 (Cat, Rat and Dog)

It would not be possible for students to stand so close to the Whomping Willow without getting hit.

“Lupin sighed.

‘They planted the Whomping Willow the same year that I arrived at Hogwarts. People used to play a game, trying to get near enough to touch the trunk. In the end, a boy called Davey Gudgeon nearly lost an eye, and we were forbidden to go near it. No broomstick would have a chance.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauders’ Map)

The tree that Newt and Leta were near was not trying to hit them, very much unlike the Whomping Willow.

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