After Rain Falls, Trees Follow

After all the rain, a powerful Santa Ana wind event blew in.  The soft, moist soil allowed the wind to push trees until they fell. 

Two reasons they were cutting down several trees here--the trees were leaning and slapping the power lines across the street, but the unsupported slope is also ready to fail and block the road.  Electrical power was out for a couple of hours on Wednesday while they cut away the slapping branches.  Today they finished cutting down the trees, a couple of volunteer Eucalyptus mixed in with three pines of unknown species (But not Canary Island--that one I know.)  Five large shallow-rooted trees within a few feet of each other on an unsupported slope near power lines.  Don't do that.  
This branch reminded me of shoe tossing
This one is on county easement.  I wonder if they will remove it.  
Down the road a bit, as gusts of wind rocked this Schinus molle, I stood and watched the cracks in the soil widen and narrow, widen and narrow, as the wind pushed the tree.  Will it fall in this wind event?  The soil was heaving pretty good. 
The red arrow points to the tree in question.
This Eucalyptus had already fallen when we walked to the park this morning.  We did not go into the park in case more were about to fall.
Good thing:  another Euc fell an hour or two later.  In the neighborhood beyond the park, another tall tree (indicated by red arrow) is leaning.  Would you be worried if your house was underneath it?  Looking at this photo I was mostly marveling at how green the grass looked.  Update: the red arrow tree fell, or was felled.
Another tree about 15' away from this one fell last Friday.   This google street view shows the two trees that fell:

The park people had just yesterday finished cutting up and removing the Friday victim.  More work today!
Update:  actually this is two fallen trees.  Look to the lower left of the big mass of roots; another root system is visible.
Two dead Eucs have not yet fallen. 
These dead Sequoias were engulfed with Bougainvillea a few weeks ago.  Perhaps it was the weight of wet Bougainvillea that snapped off the branches and left mostly bare trunks.  The Sequoias have been dead a couple of years.  The county may now cite the homeowner to remove them. 
Beloved saw this on his way to work, and took a phone-tograph for me.  Luckily the Euc missed the power lines:
 Here's what it looked like before it fell:
Update:  the Euc to the left of the red arrow tree was also removed.
The wind is howling once again tonight.  We'll see tomorrow if the rocking Schinus survives or not.  Update:  deep cracks in the soil near the Schinus.  It appears a Eucalyptus below it is now holding the Schinus up. 

Comments

  1. Wow! I live in a "wind shadow" and don't feel the effects of the Santanas. I like the pic showing the cracks in the soil. All the trees going down or showing effects are aliens. What of the sycamores and oaks? How are they doing?

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    1. "Wind shadow"--lucky! Though you get frost instead--it's always something, right?

      The sycamores lose small branches--it is what they do. The Oaks lose a leaf or two--maybe.

      The Eucs are slowly leaving our area, falling one at a time. That street where the last big one fell was once a whole wind-break row of them. One or two are removed every couple of months because the county is constantly them checking for soundness--with good reason as the photo shows. There were 35 on the north side of our property before our house existed. I had them all removed. His property still has a bunch that I worry about every wind storm, though not in direct line to smash our house.

      The Schinus have become more and more popular, unfortunately. They are fast and cheap, which is what non-plant people always want. Also shallow-rooted, aggressive reseeders, non-native, and a fire hazard, but fast and cheap are more important, right?

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  2. We just got back last night from a visit to Disneyland and I've been wondering if the wind we experienced was the renowned Santa Ana wind. I guess it was. It was cold in California! We arrived on Monday, so just missed the big rain event. We didn't see any trees down in Disneyland, but I did see and photograph one completely water-logged and rotted barrel cactus. The very next day it was gone with no evidence it had been there.

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    1. Yes it was cold here! Now it is back to the upper 70s. :( Missing the cold already! They have quite a maintenance crew at D-land, I'll give them that.

      I hope you enjoyed your visit anyway. You missed the complete SA wind experience--it should have been 90F, which it has been, and in January, too.

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  3. Yikes! Those are some big trees, I would be very nervous if I lived under them.

    Our Parks Dept folks are still working on removing all out downed trees from our storms, there are so many. And now landslides (and trees) shutting down roads around town.

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    1. If you noticed a complete lack of large trees in my garden, you now have a greater understanding as to why.

      Wow your very rough winter continues? So sorry to hear that. Take care out there!

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  4. It's very scary. We didn't get the high winds you did but I'm worrying about the possibility of toppling trees in our area too. Two trees (that I heard of) came down along the main artery here during the heaviest rain - and the road out in the other direction is sliding again (a long-term problem that worsens during the rainy season). At least last year's pre-El Nino hysteria resulted in the removal of dead trees in our immediate neighborhood.

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    1. That Schinus--it has not fallen yet because it's being supported by the Eucalyptus below it. I hope the Euc can handle the weight. The cracks in the soil are now a small, deep gully.

      On a happy note, the wind finally removed my pole pruner from the neighbor's tree! All I need is a new blade--being stuck in the tree for 8 or 9 months rusted the old one.

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  5. Wow, that is just plain scary-and just in your neighborhood? There must have been more of this all over the Euc infested southland.

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    1. There was a lot. It formed the bulk of the local news content for two days.

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  6. We went through several nights of nail-biting earlier this month when the south wind was howling. I hate it. We did more pruning today on our big palo verde as a proactive measure.

    Stay safe!

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    1. We're staying out of the park for a while. I feel very uneasy about the big long row of Eucs, two of which are dead, others of which are none too healthy. They have been taking them out gradually but the parks department has a lot of trees to care for and only so much budget. This morning there was a guy playing with his dog under those Eucs and the wind was still blowing pretty good. Made me nervous!

      Palo verdes are pretty open growing--less wind resistance, but the branches can still snap...

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  7. Oh my - that's scary! We see lots of debris, up here too. I lost a few big branches on my giant magnolia, and am trying to clean it up - one compost bin at a time. Needless to say, it's taking me a while... Be safe out there - I'd keep my distance from those rocking trees.

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  8. Yes, one green bin at a time here too. Many people here get their huge trees trimmed and checked regularly. It is the few who don't that are worrisome.

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