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Iconic giant sequoia tree falls after storm

An iconic giant sequoia tree known as Pioneer Cabin Tree has fallen during a massive storm that crossed California’s Calaveras Big Trees State Park, The Huffington Post reports. 

“The storm was just too much for it,” the Calaveras Big Trees Association wrote on their Facebook page and posted some images of the fallen tree, taken by park volunteer Jim Allday. His wife, park volunteer Joan Allday, said that the tree had already been in a bad shape before the storm.

“It was barely alive, there was one branch alive at the top,” she stated. “But it was very brittle and starting to lift.”

The age of the tree isn’t exactly clear, yet other neighbouring trees are over than 1,200 years old.

Pioneer Cabin Tree became especially famous after a tunnel was carved into it in the 1880s so as to compete with a similar tree in Yosemite National Park. However, this action was the one that precipitated the death of the tree.

“Because of the huge cut, this tree can no longer support the growth of a top, which you can see lying on the ground if you walk through the tunnel,” a park brochure notes. “The opening also has reduced the ability of the tree to resist fire.”

Lydia Peirce