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California

Dr. Seuss ‘Lorax’ tree falls in San Diego park; it had appeared healthy, from leaf to bark

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The Monterey cypress believed to have inspired Dr. Seuss’ Truffulas  trees in “The Lorax” has fallen.
(San Diego Parks and Recreation Department)

“I speak for the trees,” Dr. Seuss’ Lorax cried, to the tree-chopping Once-ler’s immense surprise.

Now the tree thought to have inspired the beloved Truffulas is no more. The Monterey cypress has fallen, closing the chapter on its famous lore.

The lone tree stood in San Diego’s Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Seuss reportedly could spot it from his home — leaf to bark.

The cause for the fall is still unknown; the tree was healthy and no wind had recently blown.

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“We did have a very wet winter, so we’re looking at the soil to see if that may have been a factor,” Tim Graham said in a statement on behalf of the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.

The city plans to salvage the trunk of the tree, and a replacement is expected to be planted — eventually.

Seuss’ 1971 children’s book pits the environment against corporate greed, as every tree is chopped down and used as a Thneed.

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According to the book, a Thneed is “a sock. It’s a glove. It’s a hat. But it has other uses. Yes, far beyond that.”

Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, filled his pages with imaginary words, in keeping with his work about “Whos” and “nerds.”

The story of the “The Lorax” has been countlessly told. The fallen cypress was 80 to 100 years old.

colleen.shalby@latimes.com

@cshalby


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