Monday, 2 March 2015

The Wawona Tunnel Tree...

Wawona Tree, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite NP, California


In 1881, The Scribner brothers were paid $75 for cutting a tunnel through the Wawona Tree, a Giant Sequoia tree, in Yosemite National Park, CA. The brothers were hired to cut the tree which, had an existing fire scar, by Yosemite Stage and Turnpike Company to create a tourist attraction. The tree tunnel was an instant success and visitors came to be photographed driving through the tree tunnel, first by Horse and later by Automobile


The Scribner Brothers cutting the Wawona Tree

The Tree tunnel would not only direct increased tourism (and conservation funds) to the National Park but also help establish the Park Service as a noteworthy bureaucratic agency.

The Wawona tree already had a slight lean pre-1881 which was increased post -tunnel and sadly the tree fell in 1969 under an estimated 2 tonnes of snow on its crown. At the time of falling it was estimated to have been 2,300 years old.



The tree is still in place, and a tourist attraction but is now known as The Fallen Tree Tunnel, providing a mini Eco-system for insects and animals of the park.

Although the Wawona tree has fallen there still exists another tree tunnel in California called the Chandelier Tree



3 comments:

Heather @ my little red suitcase said...

gosh that must have crashed down! great pictures.X

Laura Morrigan said...

What a wonderful tree! I very much admire it for staying up so long while having a hole in the centre! Lucky no one was going through when it fell!

Amy said...

While visiting San Francisco in 1995 my friend and I took a road trip and ended up visiting and driving through this tree:

http://www.drivethrutree.com

We also went to Fort Bragg, CA where the beaches are covered in beach glass. Sadly it's from dumping off the coast (no longer happening) but the result is lovely.