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In Memoriam: The Lorax Tree

Today we honor a beloved fallen tree.

This week, the tree believed to inspire Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax died as it fell unexpectedly to the ground. It had no known health problems (with the exception of some termites). The Monterey cypress was about 100 years old and was located in San Diego’s Ellen Browning Scripps Park, looking over the La Jolla coast. The tree stood completely alone and could be seen from Dr. Seuss’s La Jolla home–the home he lived in when he wrote The Lorax in 1971.

The Lorax tells the tale of a creature named the Lorax who confronts a creature named the Once-ler, who causes environmental degradation by cutting down the Truffula trees to make “worthless” products. It was written as a fable regarding the dangers posed to the environment by corporate greed.

The Lorax Tree will be missed, and its death is, in a way, a parable of its own regarding the current state of our actual deteriorating environment.

LifeImagesbyGloria / iStock

And now, a dedication, to a very special tree loved by locals and non-locals alike.

And now we toast a grand ol’ tree
Who spent his life down by the sea.
A trunk that rose up from the ground,
Its hat of leaves so puffed, so round.

It watched as waves crashed on the land,
For years and years, it watched the sand!
And from its park, it stood alone,
Atop some grass it called its throne.

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Although it’s gone now from its nook,
It shall live on–within a book.
Perhaps, this tree has gone away
‘Cause Earth’s not safe for it to stay.

“Or, hey,” you say, “Perhaps it fell
Because that’s life; tree’s fall!” you yell.
“Stop this with your poem, lame,”
You say to fill my heart with shame!

Here is where we disagree.
For trees, like you, have heart, you see.
And though it’s gone, we will recall
The joy it brought before its fall.

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