An iconic cypress tree in the scenic seaside town of La Jolla, California, was reportedly overthrown, according to local reports. The tree is more than an imposing plant: it has inspired an important story of famous children's author Dr. Seuss.
Theodore Seuss Geisel – aka Dr. Seuss – moved to the lush seaside town after World War II, according to The Smithsonian. He lived in an observation tower that gave him a breathtaking view of La Jolla, including Scripps Park, home to a rare Monterey cypress.
According to the city of La Jolla, "The Lorax", a story about conservation, is inspired by this one-of-a-kind tree.
The book, written in 1971, tells the story of a man who builds his business at the expense of "Truffula trees" and creatures that depend on it. It was turned into a popular children's star movie in 2012, starring Taylor Swift, Danny De Vito, Betty White and Zac Efron.
Dr. Seuss, who was concerned about the environment and often wrote about conservation, was concerned about the trees in La Jolla, said the city. He was upset that billboards and construction threatened the ecosystem. He was inspired to create a story about imaginary truffle trees.
The "truffle trees" and other foliage illustrated in Dr Seuss whimsical books resemble the greenery of La Jolla. However, a particular tree is a bit of a star. "Ask anyone in town where the Lorax tree is and they will direct you here," says the Smithsonian.
It is unclear what caused the fall of the tree. The city plans to recover and reallocate some of the trunk and will also replant a replacement element in the area. CBS News has contacted the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department for more information.
Some Monterey Cypress trees can live for hundreds of years – but this one was between 80 and 100 years old. The fictional truffle will live happily in "The Lorax".