Tree said to have inspired Dr. Seuss' ‘The Lorax' removed from park after it suddenly fell

If the Lorax were real, he would undoubtedly be mourning the loss of a special Monterey Cypress tree that came crashing down in a San Diego park.

The lone tree, which was located at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, fell sometime Thursday morning, according to San Diego city officials. The 100-year-old tree is said to have inspired Dr. Seuss to create his 1971 conservationist story “The Lorax.”

Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, lived in La Jolla and could see the cypress tree from his mountaintop home, according to a La Jolla website. The fluffy-topped tree looks similar to the Truffula trees in “The Lorax.”

The furry, orange creature “spoke for the trees” and worked to stop the Once-ler from building a massive business that would destroy a forest of Truffula trees and the creatures that were part of the ecosystem. The beloved story was made into an animated movie in 2012.

Cypress trees generally have a lifespan of 40 to 140 years, according to city officials, and they’re native to the California coast. When the single tree came down in the park, officials said it wasn’t dead and appeared to be “generally in good shape” despite some stress from termites.

Portions of the tree were removed the day it fell and the trunk will be removed Tuesday, officials said. City staff are still determining what caused the popular tree to come down.

The city plans to save some of the wood from the tree “in the hopes of repurposing it.” Staff also plan to plant a “replacement tree” in the area.