Watch Out For Falling Trees
I’ve spent most of the day curled up in the family room catching up on reading gardening magazines and catalogs (and dreaming of the warmer weather that will soon arrive). There’s a massive wind storm outside, with driving rain and wind-driven debris flying about – not a place I want to be. But about an hour ago I heard a loud crunching noise, followed by a ‘thud!’ – when I looked out the window I saw that a huge maple had fallen on the neighbor’s house!
Along with several neighbors, I grabbed a rain jacket and ran outside to make sure that the home owner was ok. We had to cut off several branches to access the front door but we were thankful to find Barbara was fine and the tree didn’t seem to have penetrated the roof. It seems that a smaller tree growing right beside the house had broken the maple’s fall.
The amazing thing about all of this was the cause of the fall; the tree had simply pulled out of the ground and toppled over. With the ground still wet from snow melt and now saturated from two days of rain, the few remaining roots on the old tree just couldn’t anchor it any longer. On our street, we’ve had several similar trees come down in the last couple of years, mostly the same way. I think the fact that they’re growing in tiny pieces of land, paved on all sides, with cars driving over the root zone, had lead to many of the roots dying back or rotting. You can see in the photo to the right that the tree didn’t have many roots (what you can’t see is that the main roots were all growing away from the street, in the direction the tree fell). I suspect that we’ll see more falling trees soon…