Decades old Paradise redwood tree cut down, but pieces preserved for it's rich history

It took crews two days to remove a 100 foot redwood tree along the Skyway in Paradise, but it turns out there is a lot more to this tree than what meets the eye.

Posted: Nov 3, 2017 10:30 AM
Updated: Nov 3, 2017 10:47 AM

It took crews two days to remove a 100 foot redwood tree along the Skyway in Paradise, but it turns out there is a lot more to this tree than what meets the eye.

The town of Paradise spent years trying to salvage the 82 year old tree mostly because of it's deep roots to an untold love story.

"Yeah like a love story, an early 30's love story," said Joseph Earley, Property Owner.

The redwood tree was planted in Paradise in 1935 by a young man named James Guillick as an attempt to court his crush Grace Collins and rummor has it the feeling was mutual.

"from my understanding, she had a crush on him," said Earley.

As the tree continued to grow, unfortunately their relationship did not, but Earley said, "She just speaks so fondly of him and this tree and the memories of this tree."

So much so that even after he passed away she wanted to commemorate Guillick.

"Grace had this plaque put here," explained Earley.

In 1996 Joseph Earley bought the property from her and has taken pride in the history of the tree ever since, but over the last couple years the tree has barely survived each winter.

"it's important to preserve history and it's sad and it's heartbreaking to know that you can only do so much," said Earley.

The Public Works Director Marc Mattox says the tree was dropping some pretty big limbs and became a hazard.

So out of concern for the 25,000 people who drive along the tree on the Skyway everyday, the department had four arborists inspect it, all of which declared the tree dead.

"Unanimously between them we found they recommended that it be removed because it's an immediate threat to life and property," said Mattox.

So now decades later, the tree that once stood tall will soon be transformed into a new shape, but remain the same symbol of youthful love.
"Carve out a bench,. That's what I'd love to do is have that carved out and put the plaque in it and have people walk by and take a rest," said Earley.

Once the bench is crafted out of the wood of the redwood tree it will lie where it stood for 82 years in hopes that everyone will remember this story of love and courtship.

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