The scene above is not what you want to see when you run home to grab a quick bite of lunch! As far as anyone can tell, an errant gust of wind was all it took to topple this giant which thankfully fell away from my house. On the way down, it took out an waterpipe that fed the backyard irrigation system, my husband's grill, and a few chunks of privacy fence before coming impaling itself on the security wall.
It took a crew two days to cut down and remove the tree. Another day for water pipe repairs. My husband and I replaced the grill this weekend, and the fence and piece of uprooted patio foundation should be dealt with next week. We got off easy- if the tree had fallen the other way onto the house, we would be looking at a lot more destruction and a much messier cleanup. And thankfully best of all, no one was hurt by the falling tree despite the path behind my fence and the school on the other side of the wall.
That said, I have to admit I am sad. That giant tree was planted back when this house was built in the 1950s. Generations of families watched it grow, and benefited from the shade it provided, so essential in this desert climate. The tree was tagged with carved names and hearts, and it was easy to see that it had once been a climber's paradise. Now, after one errant wind, my hammock no longer rests in the shade, the local parrots have had to find a new home, and a part of the history of this place, of this house, is gone.
And so I document here- not as a lesson learned (though if you have old trees, get them checked periodically by a professional), not because I have valuable points to share (though if you do have a tree come down, I recommend getting professionals to remove it using the proper equipment), but because I wanted a way to honor a part of my home that I never really thought about until it was gone, and I discovered just how valuable it truly was to me at least.