August 24, 2019 —
A large limb has fallen from the historic signal tree, aka marker tree, in Pico Canyon. The "marker" aspect of the tree does not appear to be affected.
Update 8/29/2019: According to Supervisor Kathryn Barger's office, county forestry personnel examined the tree, determined it is relatively healthy (despite a few bark beetles) and said the best course of action for the tree
is to leave it alone.
The oak tree is believed to have been bent over and two upper branches affixed to the ground by local indigenous people long ago, when it was a sapling, as a directional marker — apparently pointing the way to
Pico Springs, a source of asphaltum. Around the end of the 20th Century, one of the two tied-down branches fell away, leaving the one seen here.
It was already a large tree by 1930, as seen here.
When it was built in 2000, the 104-unit Extended Stay America hotel at 24940 Pico Canyon Road, Stevenson Ranch, was required to work around the tree and preserve it in place, along with at least one other adjacent heritage oak.
LW3609: Digital images by Leon Worden (online only). Download original images here