Former location: Louise Avenue, 210 feet south of Ventura Boulevard
In its estimated 1,000-year lifespan, this giant oak tree grew to more than seven stories tall with a trunk twenty-four feet in diameter and a 150-foot canopy.
The tree, a quercus agrifolia, was called the Lang Oak, named after a local rancher. It was also known as the Encino Oak for the community in which it stood. (In Spanish, one of the meanings of encino is ‘oak’, so make of that name what you will.)
So the tree survived a whole millennium, making it through every natural disaster known to Southern California (and there are a lot of them). Even developers in the 1950s, a 1980s car crash, and a bacterial infection couldn’t do it in. Unfortunately, a giant El Niño rainstorm on February 7, 1998, could (do it in, that is). Uprooted it was, smashing a couple of cars in the process.
If you go to the site, you can see a big hunk of the Lang Oak on display. Not only does it provide an inspiring reminder of the millennium the mighty oak stood rooted where it had since a century before the Norman Conquest, but is also provides a convenient nook to stash your empty iced tea and beer bottles.
See Will Campbell’s webpage for some seriously dedicated Lang Oak coverage.
One more thing. The Lang Oak has been the only HCM to be designated in Encino. But just down the street is Los Encinos State Historic Park, which is a state landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Anyone know why it hasn’t made city monument status, yet?
The black and white photo is from Los Angeles's Department of City Planning website.
Up next: General Phineas Banning Residence