A landmark tree that attracted thousands of visitors was destroyed in the wake of violent storms over the weekend, according to a nonprofit group.
The Facebook post announcing that the Pioneer Cabin tree fell during weekend storms was posted Sunday night by the Claveras Big Trees Association. Since, several news outlets have reported the tree’s fall.
“This iconic and still living tree - the tunnel tree - enchanted many visitors. The storm was just too much for it,” the Facebook post read.
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The post has amassed more than 15,000 shares and more than 2,200 comments, many attaching pictures of past visits to the attraction.
SFGate reports the tree was hallowed out in the 1880s so tourists could pass, even drive, through it. However, in more recent years, only hikers have been able to pass through the tunnel tree.
Jim Allday, a volunteer at Calaveras Big Trees State Park told SFGate the tree fell about 2 p.m. Sunday and "shattered" when it hit the ground. His wife, Joan Allday, said the tree had been leaning to one side for several years and was “barely alive.”
It’s unclear how old the Pioneer Cabin tree was, but one of the oldest sequoias was known to be more than 3,200 years old, according to the National Park Service.
It’s also not entirely clear why the tree fell, but SFGate noted the tree’s shallow root system and flooding in the area. Storms across California have caused some of the worst flooding in the past decade leaving three people dead, according to Weather.com.