Is there a name for the effect caused by trees on both sides of a road when their leaves kiss in the middle and create a canopy? My husband loves roads like that, where you drive under the trees.
And until yesterday, we had a kissing canopy of eucalyptus in front of our house. Because we live on a private road, the land on both sides of it is ours. So the kissing trees on both the west and east side of the street are ours. Theses romantic trees stood about seventy feet tall, and were eighty years old.
My husband loved those trees. And, of course, so did I. But in a certain way, they were his trees. Whenever the tree trimmers were doing their tree trimming thing, Howard would be outside screaming instructions to not trim too much, to leave the canopy in place. But yesterday one of our kissing eucalyptus died, and for awhile, the second was at risk as well.
It really doesn’t sound like much of a story. High winds, rain storm, tree fell. But the drama it created in our neighborhood lasted all afternoon and into the evening. Looking though our living room window, Howard actually saw the first tree fall, and gave a shout to me. Looking out from inside the house, we saw some leaves on the road, but it looked like more of a big branch, than the entire tree.
But when we went down to the road, we saw that one tree had fallen into the other. So now there was a tree suspended across the road. We knew we had lost one tree, and the second was certainly in danger of being knocked over with the next gust of wind.
Before we knew it, a fire truck arrived. They took one look at the seventy foot tree hanging above the street, and immediately understood what we didn’t at first. That no one should be driving or walking near them. They parked their fire truck on one side, and marked our property with yellow “do not cross” tape so that we couldn’t leave our driveway, and no one could drive or walk down the street.
Our house is situated at the beginning of a dead-end road with about forty houses. So roughly 120 people where either blocked out of their houses, or blocked into their houses with that tape. The firemen did, however, let people walk around the entire mess by passing through our yard. The firemen used orange cones and and yellow tape to guide our neighbors through our muddy vegetation (don’t think lawn, think wild, thick brush) to get around the danger area.
So the entire afternoon was spent watching the tree, meeting neighbors as they sloshed through our muddy front “walk around,” and waiting for the tree removal experts. Because it was a safety issue, all plans had to be approved by the fire chief. Our gardener arrived and presented a proposal, but the chief thought it was too dangerous.
We called another tree company, and their idea passed muster. Chief had thought a 35-foot lift would be needed, but instead a single guy climbed up the fallen tree like a monkey and went at it with a chain saw, while five guys below supported the tree with ropes that looked like a game of tug of war. Thank goodness no one was hurt.
As they started cutting, the crowd grew bigger. Folks on both side of the yellow tape were coming out to watch the spectacle. And in the end, our second tree was saved, and our first was turned into firewood. We shot some pix and video with our cell phones. Even the firemen were recording the event with their phones. It was just something memorable, in a sad sort of way.
View from the road, before firemen arrive.
View from my daughter’s car as she arrived just moments after tree went down.
Looking at the tree from the other side of the road.
Can you see the man with the yellow vest and chain jaw climbing up the tree? He’s already cut most of the branches off.