"Down at home the rumbling of cars and wagons, the noisy scramble of men, the infinite discordances of civilization leave little room for thoughts that are higher than a sky-scraper or bigger than an income. Up here one sits and walks with Nature. He is part of her quiet and unhurried life, and sees her vast order go serenely on. The life history of a decaying tree is appealing in its slow tragedy; the crumbling rocks that time has chiseled to strange forms have almost a human interest."

Tangible Memories: Californians and their Gardens, 1800-1950, by Judith M. Taylor and Harry Morton Butterfield

"California may be the golden state but it is also a garden state. Innumerable gardens have been made since the Europeans first came, starting with the Franciscan missionaries. The gold rush was the defining period, leading to immense expenditures by newly rich miners."

Los Angeles in the 1850’s As Told by Early Newspapers, by Henry Winfred Splitter

"Its heart was sound, and its wood was, by virtue of its inherent nature, cross-grained and of the toughest kind. By conservative estimate the tree was at least sixty feet high, its general shape and proportion extremely graceful. Four feet above the ground the trunk measured twenty feet in circumference, and at a height of fifteen or twenty feet, it divided into several large branches which spread over an area some 200 feet in diameter."