Carleton Watkins photographed it in 1867. Ansel Adams photographed it. It is among the most photographed trees in the park- the subject of numerous postcards over the years – and a beloved icon to millions of visitors to Yosemite.
Sometime in the last week, it fell to the ground. The Jeffrey pine, perched on the summit of Sentinel Dome, was a dramatic image of which few could not stop and snap a picture.
The pine died in the severe drought of 1976-77, although people attempted to save it by bringing buckets of water to it. The National Park Service does not know what final stress caused the tree to fall, but severe storms in the Sierra Nevada in early August may have contributed.
The treeÂ´s life, death, and fall are part of a natural process. However, many will miss the Jeffrey pine that stood and welcomed them to the summit of Sentinel Dome.