ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Yoda, a 7-foot-tall Douglas fir on the lava flows south of Grants, died this summer at the age of 650 or so.
An icon for scientists studying the history of New Mexico’s climate, Yoda survived many a drought. But the tree couldn’t get through the latest one, said University of Tennessee professor Henri Grissino-Mayer.
Yoda was alive in March, according to Grant Harley of the University of Mississippi, one of a posse of researchers who have been tracking the tree. But when Harley brought a group of students to the remote site in August, the tree was dead.
“Bummer,” Harley wrote in an email sharing the news. “We had a moment of silence to pay our respects.”