El Palo Alto is a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) tree located in El Palo Alto Park on the banks of San Francisquito Creek in Palo Alto. El Palo Alto, roughly translated, means the tall tree in Spanish.
The tree is California Historical Landmark No. 2. It is recognized by the National Arborist Association and International Society of Arboriculture for its historical significance as "a campsite for the Portola Expedition Party of 1769"; being frequented by the Costanoan/Ohlone Indians; and for its use as a sighting tree by surveyors plotting out El Camino Real. The tree is depicted on the city of Palo Alto's official seal and on the seal of Stanford University. It is presumably the origin of the city's name. (more...)
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