Killer Trees in The Back Yard

It’s not easy to think of our oft beloved trees as killers but they can be.

Some may recall a week of nearly solid rain the first month of this new year. On Thursday of last week, shortly after 10:00 a.m. January 21st, a tree fell, but not in the forest and it did make a sound.

This more than 100 foot tall eucalypts was a magnificent example of our community as it stood near the Village Woods II swimming pool, adjacent to the original Scripps family ranch.

Truck Squashed

This tree had reportedly been marked for removal, deemed a danger by tree trimmers hired to serve that area. Dealing with it was put off. Weeks later as steady rain fell, the resident who lives nearest the tree contacted her HOA manager with an emergency message that the tree’s roots were becoming exposed as soil washed away.

Only two days later, the mammoth growth toppled over. Slamming through the roof of Scott Wellborn’s garage in San Diego, California, it smashing down on his pickup truck parked inside.

There can be no question if the tree had fallen a scant few feet to the right it would surely have been a far worse disaster, the home was occupied by several people, two of them children.


Whether this one went down because it was was allowed to retain far too much growth or because it had become too large to be supported by its shallow roots has yet to be determined.

No doubt the rain didn’t help. Fortunately this week’s weather is a seldom occurrence. Little can be done to control water from the sky, but keeping up tree maintenance is totally within our power.

These photos show what happens when one of San Diego’s beautiful giants, prized so much, gets away from the people it shares living quarters with.

(c) 2010 Strasbaugh

Claudia Strasbaugh was a freelance writer who founded Scripps Ranch/Mira Mesa Writer’s Guild, was head writer for the weekly TV show “Kill ‘EM With Comedy,” plus California Bureau Chief for National Lotto World Magazine. Claudia also ran a nonprofit called Dinner On A Dollar. Sadly, Claudia passed away in 2015, but we are pleased to display her writing works.