Chandelier Tree

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Chandelier tree
Photo of the tree. Tree has a tunnel through the center of the trunk.
The Chandelier Tree in 2015
SpeciesCoast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
LocationLeggett, California, US
Coordinates39°51′30″N 123°43′09″W / 39.8583984°N 123.7192347°W / 39.8583984; -123.7192347Coordinates: 39°51′30″N 123°43′09″W / 39.8583984°N 123.7192347°W / 39.8583984; -123.7192347
Chandelier Tree 2019

The Chandelier Tree in Drive-Thru Tree Park[1] is a 276-foot (84 m) tall coast redwood tree in Leggett, California with a 6-foot (1.8 m) wide by 6-foot-9-inch (2.06 m) high hole[2] cut through its base to allow a car to drive through. Its base measures 16 ft (4.9 m) diameter at breast height (chest-high). The sign claims 315 ft. high and 21 ft. wide, but a Certified Arborist experienced with tallest redwoods, using a laser rangefinder, measured the tree as 276 ft. high and 16 ft. diameter.[3] The name "Chandelier Tree" comes from its unique limbs that resemble a chandelier. The limbs, which measure from 4 to 7 ft (1.2 to 2.1 m) in diameter, begin 100 ft (30 m) above the ground. The tree is believed to have been carved in the early 1930s by Charlie Underwood.[2][4]

A vintage postcard of the Chandelier Tree was shown during the opening credits of National Lampoon's Vacation.[5]

Other tunnel trees[edit]

A number of big trees in California had tunnels dug through them in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The tunnel allowed tourists to drive, bike, or walk through the tree. The tunneling inflicted severe damage to the health and strength of the trees. The tunnels were cut to stimulate automobile tourism. Because of the damaging effects of carving through trees, the trend of creating tunnel trees has long passed.

Giant sequoias[edit]

The two giant sequoia drive-through trees have both fallen:

But two walk-through tunnel trees still stand:

Coast redwoods[edit]

Two other drive-through coast redwood trees (taller and more slender than giant sequoias) still stand. These are also along US 101 in northern California, in Klamath and Myers Flat.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Drive-Thru Tree Park". Retrieved 30 June 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "Just a few highlights of Drive-Thru Tree Park". Retrieved 16 June 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Drive Through Redwoods. Drive Thru Redwood. Avenue of the Giants and Klamath. Leggett".
  4. ^ "Chandelier Tree". Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ 0x6966 (12 July 2009). "National Lampoon's Vacation (title sequence)". YouTube. Retrieved 25 May 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b "Where is the tree you can drive through?" (PDF). United States Forest Service. Retrieved January 10, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Hilton, Spud (2016-06-17). "Original essays: Why they love the parks". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-01-09. The iconic California Tunnel Tree, cut in 1895 to allow horse-drawn stages to pass through, at the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "The Myth of the Tree You Can Drive Through". National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-01-10. [The Wawona Tree] was the second standing sequoia to be tunneled (the first, a dead tree, still stands in the Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite). CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Destination drive through trees". Retrieved January 9, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]