El Roble Grande

Diamond B Ranch has been a place of notoriety since long before Hawk and Horse Vineyards; among other things, it is the former home of El Roble Grande, once California's largest valley oak. The following editorials tell of the death of the majestic El Roble Grande in 1952:

Times Star, Middletown - December 19, 1952

A Giant Falls; Let it not go Unmarked
Downed by the gales of winter storms, California’s largest valley oak is no more. The giant sentinel had stood, four miles from Lower Lake in Lake County, for uncounted centuries. It was more than 200 feet in height and 37 feet in circumference at its base. A hasty estimate based on growth rings places the age of the tree at someplace between 500 to 800 years. It was a towering landmark, remembered from childhood for its size, by Lake County residents who have now reached the 3-quarters of a century mark. It was an ancient giant when the eyes of white men first was here.

Clear Lake Observer - Thursday, December 11, 1952

One of the casualties of the week end’s rampaging storm was "El Roble Grande," said to be the largest valley oak in California, which crashed down across highway 53 about 3:30 A.M. Sunday. In these pictures, taken Sunday afternoon, Monty Vernon of Middletown, employs the state highway division, is shown standing on the highway on the south side of the downed giant. On the right, highway crewmen are shown making the first cut into the nine-foot trunk. The road was opened to one-way traffic Sunday evening. The venerable oak, a local trademark located four miles south of Lower Lake, was still a sound tree, but its root hold was weakened by the torrential rains, and Sunday morning’s high winds did the rest.

 
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