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California’s famous ‘drive through’ tree toppled during a massive storm

An iconic giant sequoia in California, so big that a car could drive though it, has been felled by a vicious winter storm. The tree, which stood in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, had a space hollowed out of it’s trunk in the 1880s, to compete with other ‘drive through’ trees in Yosemite National Park. However, no cars have been allowed through the tree for many years, with hikers the only ones to enjoy the spectacle.

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The base of the massive tree was 10 metres across, and was already mildly fire scarred, making drilling through the rest easier. Despite all the damage the tree managed to stay alive, although the hollowed out space most probably contributed to its demise. Coupled with a shallow root system of less than 2 metres, it was only a matter of time before the tree was bound to fall.

The age of this particular tree was difficult to determine, but giant sequoias are some of the oldest trees in the world, with some specimens living up to 3,000 years. Going by the size of other trees in the park it was more likely that this famous fallen tree was about 1,000 years old.

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