Iconic Santa Ana Library Parrot Tree faces destruction

September 4, 2023 by No Comments

According to this site, government officials are in a hurry to utilize a $9.3 million essential maintenance and infrastructure grant awarded by the California State Library’s “Building Forward” initiative, with a completion deadline set for March 31, 2026, along with Federal Revive Santa Ana funds that are mandated to be expended by the end of the same year, intend to remove one of Southern California’s most extraordinary trees to make way for a renovation project involving a hardscape patio. In short, this involves cutting the tree down to make space for parking spots.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to visit the Santa Ana Main Library (designed by Harold Gimeno and Francis Keally in 1959) and particularly if you’ve been there in the late afternoon, you might be familiar with what is affectionately known as ‘The Parrot Tree.’

Here, the branches of this tree come alive with the lively chatter of numerous parrots, and there’s no need for anyone to hush them! Situated at the center of the east patio of the starkly elegant mid-century modern structure—just outside of the left side of the frame in this vintage postcard sourced from the County Archives—The Parrot Tree has recently earned recognition as the State and National champion of the Big Tree brown woolly fig species (Ficus drupacea).

It stands impressively at a height of 75 feet, boasts a trunk circumference of 207 inches, and extends its majestic crown to an impressive span of 85 feet, garnering a total score of 303.25 points. However, this may end up getting cut down and the aforementioned website is staunchly against it.

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