The danger and instability of eucalyptus trees is well known, as evidenced by numerous articles, previous incidents and research. Commenters on LA Times agree. Here’s what they have to say about the tragedy:
Stephen Madrid – Eucalyptus trees are inherently dangerous trees. Grow to the point where they can’t support themselves.
Chris Lea – Some years ago I read a cultivation hint regarding eucalyptus trees. To grow them in Britain or other countries where there is plentiful rain (and wind – not to mention earthquakes) you should let them grow for about 5 years and then lop them to the ground and then allow them to grow again. The reason – because they grow so fast that their root system may not be able to support their top heavy foliage in damp soil or high winds.
Steve G Verdugo – On Google earth street view, the tree was leaning into the 2nd lane. [Click here for an image of the intersection via Google Earth.]
Lili Q – Outside of the routine plague affecting California’s Eucalyptus populations, the tree is one of the densest hardwoods on the planet (incapable of being sawn after it dries), and the density translates to weight. The typical Eucalyptus limb is brittle and remarkly heavy for its appearance, and because of its density, weight and brittle characteristics, it is dangerous and should be treated as a dangerous plant.
elizacharias88 – There was a 3.5 earthquake the night before that originated in San Joaquin, that I personally felt in Anaheim at approximately 3:20AM that morning. Before living in Anaheim for the past 8 months I lived in the Coronado Apartments on the Costa Mesa/ Newport border for 3 years, one block away from where this incident occurred, and I will testify that this is not the only occurrence of these Eucalyptus trees falling down. In the PAST YEAR alone- there was a day or two where there was a freak weather storm with 30+mph winds and rain…where wind and rain blew tree branches all over southern OC. A student from UCI, I remember the commute from Newport to Irvine taking twice as long due to tree branch recovery. During this same time, a tree on Irvine Ave and 17th fell over due to the winds… this occurrence of these Eucalyptus trees falling over is not a “FREAK ACCIDENT”…all of those trees on that median on Irvine Avenue should be removed promptly for the safety of the commuters and residents on that street. From elementary kids to high school students, kids bike Irvine Avenue everyday, never mind the local commuters in cars that take that street. The city council needs to hear this resolution quickly before the next earthquake or weather front comes to Newport and more people get hurt.
More images from the scene can be viewed by clicking here.
Comment below with your input.