In ironic and sad news, the tree thought to have inspired Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax has fallen. The cypress, located in San Diego’s Ellen Browning Scripps Park, was visible to Dr. Seuss from his nearby home and is widely believed to have inspired him to write his famous work The Lorax.
The cause of the tree’s death is not known, as it was considered healthy. “We did have a very wet winter,” said Tim Graham of the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, “so we’re looking at the soil to see if that may have been a factor.”
The 1971 children’s book follows a creature who attempts to defend the Truffula trees and the forest creatures from the forces of corporate greed. Written in a decade when climate change and deforestation were far from the political forefront, The Lorax is considered to be ahead of its time in addressing these issues.
The city plans to save the trunk of the tree and repurpose it, though it’s not yet clear what exact plans are in the works. A replacement will also be planted soon. The tree was estimated to be between 80 and 100 years old, so while its life may not have been long (in tree years), it at least made a significant impact during its time on Earth.
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