Cycling Claremont: The Knoll Tree

I was riding the Cross Town Loop last night after the flat mishap forced me to call Tuesday nights (the usual night for the Cross Town Loop) ride short. Heading through the Pomona College woodland I noticed this oak. It had no id tag so, for obvious reasons I decided to call it the Knoll Tree. 

notice the yellow-painted spigot

The Knoll Tree may be the most determined tree I have ever come across. Picture it: Growing from a seedling, a spout just poking through the leaf litter. The concrete water hydrant with some sort of concrete dog bowl, must have dwarfed it at first. The seedling gradually grew, neither slower, nor faster than others of its generation in the woodland and somehow the human caretakers of this land missed this little one growing where it shouldn't. The little tree continued to grow, eventually (maybe) even more quickly than the others nearby. In fact it sprouted with such gusto that it quickly grew around the hydrant, enveloping it completely within the rough, broadening trunk.

I had to check both a second and third time to be sure of what I was seeing. I noticed the bowl with the name "Knoll" etched into it first. I walked around the tree and saw the large concrete post (hydrant) in the middle, then back around to the bowl where I noticed the spigot protruding above it. There are big gaping wounds, rends in the trunk where the concrete is exposed; spiders live in one, a bee hive is in another. At this time I had to check again - yes the tree is real, yes it is alive. Green leaves, gnarly branches like any oak worthy of the name. Determined to live against all odds.

Next time you are in the woodland look for the Knoll Tree, you can get there by foot, or bike.

hard to tell, but that is the tip of a huge piece of concrete with a swarm of bees above it