It took a lot to make The Pioneer Cabin Tree topple, but this weekend’s rainstorms proved to be too much for the ancient tree. The famous tree, which at some point in the last few centuries saw horses and cars drive through the middle of its base, was probably around 2,000 years old. To put that in perspective, this tree and Julius Caesar were most likely growing up around the same time. However, the tree obviously lasted much longer than the man. And if it weren’t for human interference, perhaps it would have survived even longer. Experts believe that the carving of the tree’s bottom didn’t do it any favors.
Combined with the torrential downpours in Northern California this weekend, it soon because obvious that the famous old tree had one too many elements working against it. The Calaveras Big Tree Association announced the incident on Facebook, taking many pictures of the aftermath. Although the Pioneer Cabin reportedly met its fate in a most spectacular way—shattering and cracking violently—people had been walking through it that very morning.
Although the practice of carving out trees is now frowned upon, back in the 1800s, this was a way for parks to boost tourism. Only a few of these carved-out trees still exist in the country, and they are monuments to a certain time in our history. Although Pioneer Cabin’s untimely demise was unfortunate, the hope is that its beautiful majesty may have inspired people to do their part to conserve the great outdoors.