Local Tree Ends Its Watch

Pam Shea hugs the Coast live oak tree in front of the S-T Library.


tree that stood as a longtime sentinel in front of the Sunland-Tujunga Library was celebrated on Jan. 13 as plans were made 

for its removal. It was determined by a certified arborist that the tree, a Coast live oak, was dying and had already suffered severe structural decline. It is estimated that the Coast live oak is between 100 and 150 years old.

Former Sunland-Tujunga poet laureate Pamela Shea and Alice Pero each delivered poems that were written specifically for the event.

“It was not difficult for me to write,” said Shea. “I’ve always had an affinity for and love of oak trees, having grown up under one in my childhood backyard in Whiting Woods. I even have an oak tattoo on my leg. I wrote a poem about the oaks for my induction ceremony as ninth poet laureate of Sunland-Tujunga.” (To read Shea’s poem, visit www.cvweekly.com/BETWEENFRIENDS.)

Alice Pero read one of her poems.

Shea added that as a resident of Sunland for over 40 years, she first became aware of the tree when she took her children to the library in the 1990s.

“It is meaningful to me because our foothill area has been known for its oaks, both as part of our history as well as their presence in our local parks and historical sites,” she said adding that she had been told that there were references to the oaks in 1769 by the first Spanish expedition to the San Fernando Valley, referring to it as Valley of Oaks.