A catastrophic fire in 1878 burned all vegetation except for six oak trees on the property that is now Descanso Gardens, so the Garden's Quercus agrifolia forest is only 134 years old. The 1878 fire began in the summer and burned unchecked until doused by winter rains several months later.
Q. agrifolias have an estimated life span of six hundred years, so these trees are all teenagers; they look it, don't they? Lanky and slim, and huddled together.
Before the property was sold as a garden to the County of Los Angeles, it was proposed that it become a landfill. A rubbish tip. A dump.
Walt Disney briefly considered it as a place to build Disneyland.
I'm happy the oaks were spared.