While walking The Dog in the rain and wind late Saturday night, I heard the sound of heavy equipment somewhere in the neighborhood. I wondered if the noise was carrying all the way from Telegraph Avenue, where a big apartment building had burned the night before. Was it being demolished already? But while circling back toward home, I spotted what looked like a city tree-maintenance crew working on McGee Avenue south of Cedar. We detoured to investigate, and the crew turned out to be one guy who was cutting up a fallen liquidambar tree as a police officer and several bystanders looked on. In the dark, it was hard to see what had happened; the tree appeared to have snapped off about six or seven feet above the ground (it was windy out, but not that windy). Oh, and it looked like there was a car under the fallen tree.
Next day, our morning walk took us back by the spot. The car: worse for wear, a condition the owner apparently had yet to discover. The tree: still a little mysterious how it came down, though a neighbor passed by and said the truck had split and the crown of the tree had fallen in separate directions. I’m not a tree guy, so I don’t know if they’re prone to a sudden failure like this. But seeing that one tree down has changed the way I look at all the other liquidambars along the street. (Click pictures for larger images.)