A nearly 400-year-old oak tree collapsed at Ide Adobe State Historic Park, causing it to lose all of its limbs Sunday morning. Limbs landed on the park's Adobe building and damaged the structure. The Adobe building acts as a museum and is full of artifacts from the 1800s. Officials still don't know what caused the tree to fail.
"Structurally, we're concerned about the walls, the artifacts that were inside the building, so we've got a lot of stuff that we're concerned about and we're trying to assess and figure out what we're going to do to safely get everything out of the building," said Park Ranger Kirk Coon.
The tree was a staple of the park, it was there more than 200 years before the Ide Adobe was. The park has made an effort to keep the tree maintained by getting regular inspections on it and trimming the branches.
"It's been around almost 200 years longer than the Adobe was even built. It's survived fires, it's survived various plagues. It's been around a long time, it's seen a lot more than anyone of us are ever gonna see," Coon said.
The park's popular Adobe Days are a month away. Officials said the event will still go on, it's just a matter of how.
It's unlikely the tree can be saved. The park still has to make decisions on what they're going to do with the pieces, but they may use cross-sections of the tree to make interpretive displays.
The historic area of the park will be closed off until further notice, while crews get rid of debris and remove limbs. The visitor center and picnic area are still open normal hours.
"Keep coming to the park. I think coming to the park, showing your support is what our staff here is really looking for. We've come over a lot of hurdles with this park unit over the years and our park staff really appreciates the support from our community," Coon said.