In 1914, the senior class of Fullerton High School planted a young oak seedling in the center of the newly-constructed campus. Over time, the oak cast a larger shadow as its branches grew each year and soon invited students to rest under its cool shade. The tree was already ten years old by the time Leo Fender was a freshman at FUHS. 106 years later, the tree still stands with its sprawling limbs stretching 70 feet wide. The species, Quercus agrifolia (Coast live oak) is native to coastal California and is deeply rooted in the culture of indigenous Kizh people for whom oaks provided a valuable food source and sacred areas for ceremonial gatherings. One variation of the word for oak in the Kizh language is, “we’aashar.” An exceptional specimen growing in Temecula is estimated to be over 1,000 years old.
Here’s a pictorial history of this historic oak tree, with images found in FUHS yearbooks over the years…
Unfortunately, the old FUHS oak does not have any recognition/protection as a local landmark. In recent years, the contractor hired by the FJUHSD has been improperly trimming the canopy by “topping” branches, threatening the tree’s health. For any comments/questions, contact me: Jensenhallstrom@gmail.com.
Categories: Local News