Tree Nine before being damaged After being damaged (taken with GeoPickle)


Tree Nine, or Tree 9, is a 150 foot Douglas Fir, and is the ninth stop on the Seep Zone Interpretive Trail through UCSC's upper campus. It is located slightly northwest of Colleges 9/10. It was one of the more well-known trees on campus, largely because its entire 103-foot height was climbable, and the Pacific Ocean is visible from the upper branches. A boost (typically provided by a fallen branch leaning against the trunk of the tree) was typically needed to access the first few branches. For a period of time, a rope & pvc ladder was added to allow access to the 1st branches.

In 2010 the first 25 feet of branches of Tree Nine were removed by UCSC arborists, eliminating the ability to easliy climb the tree. "We recognize that this particular tree has special significance to some students and alumni. But our arborists believe that the tree will be healthier and live longer if lots of people aren't climbing in it," campus spokesperson Jim Burns said in a Santa Cruz Sentinel interview.1

Of other interest is Tree Nine's status as a geocache (external link).


Tree Nine is accessible most easily via a small path leading southwest from the College Nine/Ten Meadow, or via a less obvious path headed south from Fuel Break Road. A map showing its location can be found here.


Tree Nine's name stems from the fact that it is the ninth stop along the Seep Zone Interpretive Trail. However, stories concerning the origins of its name are still told. For example, one story states that a girl fell while climbing the tree, and hit nine branches on the way down.


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