The Tree That Inspired ‘The Lorax’ Has Fallen

Children’s author Dr. Seuss found inspiration in a unique Monterey Cypress tree outside his home in La Jolla. The tree collapsed last week.

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The real-life Truffula tree that inspired Dr. Seuss to write The Lorax was uprooted last week.

Dr. Seuss, AKA Theodore Geisel, lived with his wife in their La Jolla, California home — an old observation tower on Mount Soledad with an excellent view of the parks and trees around them — until the author’s death in 1991.

Seuss wrote The Lorax in 1971 out of a passionate personal desire to educate his readership on environmental conservation and the ramifications of logging and deforestation. Seuss actively wanted to save the historic trees in his neighborhood, according to




He was particularly fond of a distinct Monterey Cypress tree standing alone in Ellen Scripps Browning Park that he could see from his window.

The Monterey Cypress is a hardy cypress tree native to the West Coast of California and is easily recognizable for its wide, windswept canopy.

Any La Jolla native could point tourists or the otherwise uninitiated to the “Lorax Tree,” even though it was never officially marked by a plaque or other designation.

“The tree was alive and appeared to be in good health, save for termites,” a city spokesman said, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The tree was between eighty and a hundred-years-old when it fell, but city officials say it will be salvaged.


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