It would appear that the Once-ler has struck in La Jolla, California where sadly the tree that inspired Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax has fallen.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, or as the famous author is more commonly known, Dr. Seuss, was rumored to have designed the whispy Truffula trees at the center of The Lorax around a beautiful Monterey Cypress tree that stood outside the window of his home in La Jolla. On Jun. 13 the tree, which may have inspired the iconic story about the importance of protecting nature, fell down.

The tree was healthy and estimated to be between 80 to 100 years old according to San Diego Parks and Recreation spokesman Tim Graham. “We did want to make it clear that the tree was not dead when it fell,” Graham told TODAY. “It did have some termites, but was generally in good condition.”

While the Once-ler would certainly be a likely culprit, it remains a mystery what happened to the tree. In the true spirit of Seuss’ story, however, a new tree will be planted in its place. According to Graham, in addition to planting a new tree, the city is looking to give the fallen trunk a new life by repurposing it.

“We really have no idea if Ted based the truffula trees on this particular tree, but regardless we are saddened to hear that this beautiful tree has fallen down, as we are when any tree that has lived for decades falls,” said Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises in an emailed statement. “That said we are happy to hear that the park district has plans to plant a new tree and hope that this new tree has the opportunity to grow and delight park goers for years and years.”

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Amazon



A New Dr. Seuss Book Is Coming & It’s Going to Be an Instant Classic

Dr. Seuss-Inspired Recipes for Your Green Eggs and Ham Fan

The Very First Dr. Seuss Museum Has Arrived, and Here’s Why It Rocks