Column: A hike to L.A.’s Wisdom Tree calms post-election nerves. And the view is perfect.
Wisdom Tree, the oldest of Los Angeles’ 11 giant sequoias, is a majestic tree with a commanding view of the city. But its massive trunk, at the base of the tree, is surrounded by about 50 smaller, fatter branches that are laden with heavy, gray, dead branches.
In early January, just a year after the tree was felled by a tornado that swept through southern California in November 2017, the tree was lying in a forest outside downtown L.A.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks had cleared away most of the old, dead branches, but a small band of green remained.
The day after Trump became president, that “band of green” — which represents the city’s estimated 1,000 trees — appeared on the horizon as a clear, crisp January day, on the final day of the tree’s annual regrowth.
The city held a ceremony to mark the tree’s birthday on January 6. It offered a wide range of services for those who want to make their acquaintance with L.A. trees — from a bus ride and a tour of some of their history and a chance to tour the actual tree itself. But the best part was the gift bag.
The bag was filled with L.A.’s favorite tree gum, a variety of colorful pieces of chewing gum.
The gift bag was delivered by a group of visitors from the tree’s home city of Seattle, with a message of gratitude given by the city of Los Angeles: “We know you’re working hard to make Los Angeles a safer, more beautiful and more inclusive community,” said the gift bag. “Thank you for all that you do to help make the city a better place.”
A group of trees at the center of Seattle received a birthday wish from Los Angeles on January 6, 2018.
The gift bag was handed down from one Seattle tour guide to another as the group traveled to the foot of the Sequoia tree and back on the same bus.