One of the most iconic trees in California, and in literature has fallen. The tree was made famous by Dr. Suess’ “The Lorax” and fell this past June. The rare cartoonish-looking Monterey Cypress was located in Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, California and was a source of local pride. Residents are mourning the loss of a tree that was really part of their community. Call Tree Service Round Rock if you are in need of tree services.
The seaside city of La Jolla was home to author Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known by his pseudonym Dr. Seuss, who moved there after World War II. Seuss lived and worked in a rented observation tower that offered fantastic views of the city, including the park where the iconic tree stood out like a sore thumb. This tree is said to have served as the inspiration for the vibrant “Trufulla” tree in “The Lorax.”
Written in 1971, the children’s book followed the main character, called the Lorax, as he seeks to save the “Truffula tree” and the creatures that depend on it. The “Trufulla trees” are being destroyed by greedy corporate powers, destroying the creatures who need the tree to survive. The Lorax takes it upon himself spread the word and save the trees and the creatures that inhabit them.
Seuss was a conservationist at heart and his book centered on themes of environmentalism and protecting creatures that become endangered by human activity. The story of the Lorax was originally inspired by happenings within La Jolla while Seuss lived there. He was concerned about the city putting up billboards and the effect it would have on the local ecosystems and trees. The story became an analogy for these concerns, as well as other environmental issues. The ever-creative Seuss used the unique tree as a backdrop for a story about commercialism and the environment.
In addition to its success as a children’s book, the story was also adapted into a successful star-packed animated movie in 2012. Bringing the story of environmental stewardship to a new generation, in a time when protecting the environment is just as important as ever. Making it an amazing multi-generational story inspired by a single tree.
That tree, a Monterey Cypress, is native to the Central Coast of California where it enjoys cool, moist summers constantly being bathed in sea mist. It and can grow to heights of 133 feet. They are known for their bright green foliage, and interesting wind-twisted trunks. The trees have been documented to live past two hundred years, but most do not live much past 100 years. The Cypress in La Jolla was estimated to be between 80 and 100 years old.
Since falling, the city has removed most of the fallen tree, but is planning on leaving and re-purposing the remaining trunk. The city’s park department is also planning on planting a replacement cypress in the vicinity of the fallen one. Although it may be impossible to replace the original Lorax tree, the fact that there is going to be another one planted, and that the story is still well loved is a good sign.