The towering Valley Oak at Paramount Ranch known to some as the “Witness Tree” has, unfortunately, succumbed to damage from the 2018 Woolsey Fire. National Park Service officials have invited the public to bid farewell this Saturday, February 8th, from 2 to 4PM.

The enormous native oak tree has been a part of Paramount Ranch for decades. Paramount Ranch is both a popular location for shooting film and television and a location for events and ceremonies like weddings. Even if you haven’t visited the park, there’s a solid chance you’ve seen this beautiful tree before. 

the witness tree in paramount ranch 2015

The Witness Tree in 2015

Although the tree did at first seem like it was on the path to recovery following the Woolsey Fire, arborists have determined the tree will likely not recover and potentially become a safety hazard.

The Witness Tree has a diameter of 100 inches and many believe it is over 100 years old. The Park Service is inviting visitors to guess the age of the tree by emailing Public Affairs Officer Ana Cholo (include your name, address and guess of the age). The tree will be cut down in mid-February and once the rings are counted, the closest guess will receive a gift from the Santa Monica Mountains Fund.

witness tree in paramount ranch 2018 woolsey fire

The tree in 2018 following the Woolsey Fire

It’s not completely the end for the Witness Tree, though. After the tree has been cut down, its wood will be used in benches, signs, and other items in the new Western Town, which will begin construction in the next few years. You can follow progress of this project and donate funds to help at the Santa Monica Mountains Fund site. 

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modern Hiker, Author of "Day Hiking Los Angeles," Walking Meditator, Native Plant Enthusiast.





4 Comments

Richie Carrillo Feb 7, 2020 14:02

That tree was a part of my childhood memories =(
-
Be Safe outdoors
https://safishing.com/product-category/face-shield/
RCM80 = 80% off

Leave a Reply to Richie Carrillo Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tatiana Feb 5, 2020 07:02

So sad I got married under that tree in 2016.

Leave a Reply to Tatiana Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Debbie Lindsey Feb 5, 2020 05:02

So Sad if this tree could talk, the world would listen. I picked up acorns from under this tree when I was a teenager and grew trees. I gave them to friends and neighbors that had yards. I’ll bet some are still alive and thriving. I wonder if anyone else has done the same .

Leave a Reply to Debbie Lindsey Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Steven L. Carlson Feb 4, 2020 16:02

I cry for the tree.

Leave a Reply to Steven L. Carlson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Modern Hiker Newsletter

Learn about new trail guides, outdoor news, and events in the free Modern Hiker Newsletter. All original content and guaranteed not to flood your inbox -- new issues usually come every 2-3 weeks.