Jack London tree

Jack's Oak is a centuries-old oak tree on the grounds of Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, Calif. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat / December 23, 2013)

Jack's Oak is a towering tree more than 300 years old that stands outside Jack London's cottage in Sonoma County's Glen Ellen.

London would see the oak when he looked out his office window, and he wrote in the shade of its outstretched branches. 

Officials had planned to cut down the tree in November because arborists had determined that it was dying and was infected with pathogenic fungi.

But the Press Democrat reported this week that although another test confirmed there was significant decay, officials with Jack London State Historic Park think it can stay up a bit longer.

That new analysis was done by a UC Berkeley professor who said the tree probably would have to be cut down within the next decade.

About a year ago, a large branch from the tree came down during a storm. Limbs were trimmed afterward in order to protect the cottage.

Park officials are trying to further protect the tree and diminish the risk of injury; they have instated new parking restrictions near Jack's Oak and more pruning. They also plan to closely monitor the tree's health.

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