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California's iconic 'tunnel tree' fell during a powerful winter storm


California's iconic "tunnel tree" was taken down by a powerful winter storm that came through the region over the weekend. 

The tree, which is located in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park, got its name from the tunnel that was carved into its base 137 years ago, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The giant sequoia was also nicknamed the Pioneer Cabin because of its size. 

"We lost an old friend today," Jim Allday, a Calaveras County resident wrote on his Facebook page. 

His photos showed that the tree's based had splintered. 

The giant sequoias in the park are an estimated 1,000 years old, according to the L.A. Times. 

"This iconic and still living tree the tunnel tree enchanted many visitors. The storm was just too much for it," the Calaveras Big Trees Association said on Facebook. 


In this May 2015 photo provided by Michael Brown, John and Lesley Ripper pose in the Pioneer Cabin tunnel tree, a giant, centuries-old sequoia that had a tunnel carved into it in the 1880s, during a visit to Calaveras Big Trees State Park near Arnold, Calif., in the Sierra Nevada. The tree came crashing down on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, as a massive storm system stretching from California into Nevada swept through the area over the weekend. Park volunteer Joan Allday said the tree had been weakening and leaning severely to one side for several years. (Michael Brown via AP)

Visitors used to be able to drive through the opening in the tree, but recently it was limited to hikers.

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