Do trees just fall for no reason????

Gigi_4321September 16, 2012

At 4am we heard a loud swishing sound, then another. Couldn't find anything amiss in the house so walked outside to this:

We are in Ca. so no storms, flooding etc. no earthquake. The tree is not diseased or leaning. It split into four sections and fell in an exact north south east west pattern. Did God do this? (as in act of god, per my insurance co)

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Broke apart due to structural weakness. There is foliage in the way but otherwise looks like maybe it was topped or broke off due to natural causes in the past, and codominant side branches finally got heavy enough to tear off. Whether it was topped or not, it is an excellent demonstration of one of the reasons topping trees and then letting replacement tops grow tall afterward is a bad idea - result is the same as if it was topped and then split apart for that reason.

Best idea is to not top the tree in the first place.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 2:24PM
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BobtheArborist

No there was a reason. bboy is right, this is a classic co-dominant failure on what looks like a eucalyptus tree that was topped as a control. Eucalyptus were imported from Australia into California around 1880 on as a fast growing forest tree. Thing is they grew TOO fast and have excessively populated half the state, taking over native species. As one method of control they have been cut back severely (topped) but eucalyptus vigorously and quickly grow back this kind of weak 4 way co-dominant sprout that is not nearly as strong as the original stem. This is a major problem in California and there is no easy or cheap way to control their growth (except acts of "God" like this which was really an act of uninformed men)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:23AM
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eahamel(9a)

Eucalyptus do have the bad habit of dropping large limbs with no warning. I know someone who was almost hit by one while golfing.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Must have been a pretty wild shot.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:40PM
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