Encinitas residents' rally cries protest tree stump's removal

Woman says stump contains many fond memories
Posted at 7:11 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 22:25:04-04

An Encinitas woman wants to save the "Hobbit" living inside a unique tree stump in their neighborhood park. 

The stump is all that’s left of an odd tree, with an odd history, that was recently chopped down to the stump.

“Sadly, I got word that they were going to grind the stump down,” said Susan Fristoe as she sat on top of the stump in her Village Park neighborhood.

She said the stump is all that remains of a pine tree that was knocked down during a storm in the 1980s. The tree was chopped back to its stump. However, one lone branch was left attached to the stump. It grew to more than 20-feet-tall. 

The homeowner’s association chopped that down last month. A grass-covered sideways tree stump is all that remains.

Fristoe said she has fond memories of her children playing on the oddly-shaped tree.

“I wanted to create something special for the magic to continue,” she said.

She turned the stump into a hobbit’s home a few weeks ago because the unique shape of the stump with the grass growing over reminded her of the hobbit’s home as envisioned in the Lord of the Rings and "The Hobbit" books.

Fristoe said neighborhood children love the hobbit’s house.

“They go, ‘Oh my gosh. What is this?’ and they look and they’re like, ‘Wow! This is amazing!’”

The stump is scheduled to be removed next week. However, Fristoe started an on-line petition to try to save the stump for future generations.

“I think of this as the Village Park Giving Tree,” she said.