Historic 140-year-old Fig Tree Collapses in L.A.

A fig tree that’s nearly as old as the City of Los Angeles has finally met its end. The tree snapped during a line dance performance for the 2019 Los Angeles Lantern Festival on March 2.

The Bay Fig Tree was planted with three others at the historic El Pueblo de Los Angeles by agriculturalist and Los Angeles City Councilmember Elijah Hook Workman in 1875.

To put the tree’s age in context, California achieved statehood in 1850 making the trees nearly as old as the state.

The trees were imported from Australia as part of a beautification project for the El Pueblo Plaza 144 years ago. Around then, California’s citrus industry was booming, Frank McDonough, a botanist with Los Angeles County told the LA Times. He noted that planting the foreign trees pushed the narrative that anything and everything could be grown in Southern California.

Community members will decide what to do next with the hole left behind.


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