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UPDATE: The Encino Oak Tree Stump Is a Celebrated Local Monument

The tree stood in Encino for over 1,000 years.

UPDATE Apr. 30: Thank you all, Encino Patch readers, for your comments and thoughts on the photo we posted of a local landmark.

As many of you correctly answered, the photo is of the Encino oak tree stump on Louise, just south of Ventura. The tree was designated a historic cultural monument by the city of Los Angeles in 1963.

The oak tree's rings show that it is approximately 1,000 years old. Click on the new photo gallery to view the historical events that occurred during the tree's long life.

Michael Crosby, local historian, Los Encinos docent and author writes about the tree in his book Encino: Portraits of America. According to Crosby, the tree was in a weakened state in the 1990s and finally toppled in a storm on February 7, 1998. Encino is named, writes Crosby, for the Spanish work for "oak," and the Encino oak tree's image is used on the Chamber of Commerce's logo.

One Patch reader wrote in to tell readers that, when the oak was designated a cultural monument, a special ceremony was held at the oak, during which time the following poem was read aloud to the assembled crowd.

"Trees" by Joyce Kilmer:

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.   A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;   A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray;   A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair;   Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain.   Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.

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Encino Patch readers know their local history. Last month, perched high above Encino streets, and many of you came forward with the answer within minutes!

which readers correctly identified as that can be found dotted throughout the Valley.

So here's another local history question for you: Can you identify the Encino landmark pictured above, photographed by Patch on a sunny morning this week? Where is it located? Do you know its history?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below, and bookmark this page to come back for updates!

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Cathy Scheibe March 27, 2012 at 01:54 PM
It's the stump of the centuries old oak tree at the corner of Louise Avenue and Ventura Blvd. It fell over one day after a series of rain storms had weakened the roots.
Anna King (Editor) March 27, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Cathy, many thanks for your response - you are correct! Do you know what the white markers say or represent on the stump?
Cathy Scheibe March 27, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I am guessing they may indicate the age of the tree based on the number of rings, but that's a guess. I have not seen the tree stump in a while.
Anna King (Editor) March 28, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Yes indeed! I'm going to post photos of the rings and what they signify. Watch this space!
Wilma March 28, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Dear Anna, The once beautiful old oak tree you have photographed was adapted as the symbol of Encino's rich history and can still be seen as a woodcut design on ctiy stationery and signs. When the street was to be widened and paved, residents fought to split the two sides of the road so our royal oak could still stand. Groups of children from local schools and scout troops often visited the ancient tree both as an Encino history lesson and an arbonicultural event. A few months before the tree toppled, various local schools had been petitioning the city and demonstrating by their beloved tree for special funds to save it - it appeared to be slowly beginning to die. When the tree toppled after a series of violent rain storms, both adults and children in Encino went to the tree and cut off small pieces of it to save as a memorial souvenir - others took some leaves to press and cherish. Saddened Encino residents fought to keep the stump where it had been for many decades. The children who had been fighting to save the tree's life were present when the Memorial Plaque was installed: After speeches by local dignitaries, the children circled their beloved tree as Joyce Kilmer's beautiful poem "Trees" was read. I am a writer and Encino resident. Thank you for your local articles and news items, Anna, Wilma
Kathie S. March 28, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I believe this is the old oak tree stump on Louise just south of Ventura Blvd.
Anna King (Editor) March 28, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Thank you for sharing your memories, Wilma! I'm going to see if I can try and track down the poem you mention.
Wilma March 29, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Anna, I have sent you a separate email with information that you can use regarding this article. Thank you, again, for your stories. Wilma
Anna King (Editor) March 30, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Thank you all for adding your thoughts, comments and memories! I've added more photos, a poem sent by Wilma, and historical facts in the updated article above.
Bo Lagerqvist April 26, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Dear Anna, Lovely to see that the stump of the historic oak in Encino has been kept as a monument. Until recently there was an oak about 600 years old standing in the middle of a street in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the oldest street trees in town. Just like in Encino this Oak was threatened when the street was built 1960, but this street too was split in favour of the oak. In October 2011 The Traffic Administration Office (TAO) decided to cut down the oak. TAO feared it would fall. Citizens protested and arborists made their own investigations (X-ray and others) and found that the oak,,was no imminent danger and able to stand for many years ahead. But the TAO took no notice and the oak was cut down. About 40 policemen held back protesters while the chain saws did their job. Now there´s only a stump left but citizens, organized in "The Friends of the Oak" want to keep it as a historical monument. It was surprising to find out about the Encino oak and we will try to use the history of the Encino Oak in our efforts to save the stump in Stockholm as a historic monument. By the way Stockholm is nicknamed ”Eken” which means ”The Oak” in Swedish, just like Encino means Oak in Spanish ! Bo Lagerqvist Stockholm http://www.google.se/search?q=tv-eken&hl=sv&client=firefox-a&hs=KWz&rls=org.mozilla:sv-SE:official&channel=np&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=V8GXT5X3MubN4QSD0qXFBg&ved=0CDgQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=577
Anna King (Editor) April 27, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Thank you so much for getting in touch, Bo! It seems that Encino and Stockholm have something in common! I hope your efforts to save the Stockholm stump are successful. Do keep in touch!
John Muir III April 27, 2012 at 05:14 PM
It's too bad the CITY allowed the tree to be paved over, leading to it's demise, also the adjacent Town & Country center used ti have some magnificent oaks in the parking lot. Someone got hit on the head by an acorn (....or such) & they tore out a bunch of 100's year old trees. Most of the OLD oaks of Encino have been cut down, or butchered. An unbelievable grove of Pines was destroyed to build that gem Encino Legado, Edgard Rice Burrough;s exotic tree collection was torn down, destroyed to build McMansions & a gated community. What did the City COunsel say when informed....Joy Picus @ the time..."If we only knew we would have done something" No they wouldn't they never do anything of value, they pass resolutions about gay rights in Iran, banning McDOnalds in South LA & other BS, PC crapolo...And I am not Archie Bunker.....the tress @ Louise was great too bad the City preferes concrete, glass, steel & congestion & pollution.....NIce to see Los Angeles' 'concern' for trees & landmarks has hit Stockholm (not....)

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