Scott Stevens

By Scott Stevens

LifeBuzz User

Iconic ‘Drive-Through’ Tree Felled In A Storm, And The Internet Paid Tribute.

Countless people have visited the Calaveras Big Tree State Park in California. The big thing most of them wanted to see was the Pioneer Cabin Tree, better known as the “tunnel tree." It's been standing since the 1880’s and even back then it was a gigantic tree. By the time 1912 arrived, local residents cut a giant hole in the middle of the bottom of it for easy passage. This practice became the norm back in those days as it was easier to go right through the giant trees rather than going around them.

This particular tree has stood for over one thousand years and it was the last “tunnel tree” standing. That fact made it even more special and visitors came from all over the country to see it and walk through it. The problem with the tree is that the hole actually makes it weak structurally. It may look strong but anything with a hole it in isn’t as strong as it is without it. It’s really amazing that it lasted as long as it did.

Recently, a winter storm brought the tree down and now there are no more “tunnel trees” in existence. These photos not only show some of the great history of the big tree but they also show the sad state the storm left it in.

People who visited the Calaveras Big Tree State Park in California have been treated to the site of an iconic tree tunnel that has been there since the 1880's.

This old photograph shows the tree before it was cut into a tunnel. Look at how big it is!

This old photograph shows the tree before it was cut into a tunnel. Look at how big it is!

Lawrence & Houseworth / Wikimedia

In 1912, a massive hole was cut in it to make travel easier. The tree stood the test of time until just recently.

The tree was looking as strong as ever just a few months ago. However, Mother Nature always wins out.

The tree looks very strong but the hole actually leaves it in a weaker state than it looks. This was the last "tunnel tree" standing and it recently toppled over due to heavy rain and snow.

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