Beloved heritage oak tree falls at Laurel School

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on March 1, 2017

Laurel School principal Linda Creighton sent a message out today telling the Laurel community that a much-cherished heritage oak tree next to the main arbor at the Lower Campus fell last night.

“This tree has always been a breathtaking icon of Laurel School,” she wrote in an email. “We are incredibly fortunate that it fell during the night when no students, parents, or staff were present.

“We intend to salvage some of the wood to create a piece that will remain at Laurel School.

“Students this morning were equally remorseful. ‘I loved that tree!’ and ‘That tree was my friend.’ were among the many comments I heard from students. The kids had some great ideas about how we could repurpose the tree; many asked for a tree house (on the ground) or suggested we carve pieces for climbing, similar to Fremont Park in downtown Menlo Park.

“The arborist reported that you can’t exactly determine the age of an oak, once they have grown this big. He said it could have lived between 80 or 200 years.

“I know that the empty space next to the arbor will be filled with fond memories.”

Trees have been toppling all across the Bay Area, the result of drenching winter rains combined with the effects of years of drought. Experts say that in some instances, the dry spell had weakened or killed the roots or trunks, and soggy soil and wind is causing the trees to tip over.

Photo courtesy of Laurel School

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