Sycamore Tree Blows into Pool in Chico

A 50-year-old sycamore tree fell into Sycamore Pool in Chico, California on June 18, 2012. The tree is one of several sycamore trees that line the pool, thus the name. The large, leafy canopy of the tree caught the wind and caused the tree to break at its weakest point. The city had to remove an estimated 5,000 lbs of tree from the pool, which cost the city approximately $1,200 out of a budget of $700,000 for tree maintenance.

Chico has many sycamore trees that are decaying. The sycamore that fell had a fungus that is believed to have infected the tree during a previous break in the trunk. Denice Britton, urban forest manager for the city of Chico, said that the decaying trees need to be trimmed regularly to decrease the risk of injury from tree failure. “We have a huge backlog of tree work in Chico and it needs to be done,” Britton said.

Although this tree has fallen, the rest of the sycamore trees around the pool will not be trimmed until the fall. The last time they were pruned was in 2008. Britton remarked, “You know, the trees are old and they have a lot of decay and we don’t have a lot of funding to do pruning.”

The fallen sycamore will be turned into mulch and the stump will be ground down and covered with soil. It is thought that the sycamore may grow back.

Pine Tree Falls on Convertible During Tropical Storm Debby

As tropical storm Debby moved through Tampa Bay on June 26, 2012, trees succumbed to the wind. One such tree was a large pine tree on Crenshaw Lake Road of US 41. The pine tree broke in half and fell on top of a Mustang convertible travelling on the road, trapping 58-year-old Diana Lewis in the passenger seat of the car. The driver, Melissa Lewis, also sustained injuries.

Mike Wiggen, who lives near the scene of the accident, heard the crash and came to help. “I heard a smash and then I hearn a car horn. I hear this lady screaming ‘help me, help me, help me.’” Says Wiggen. He and other neighbors and drivers pried the convertible top back and picked up limbs that were pinning Diana Lewis down.

Melissa was treated and released from the hospital, but Diana was listed in serious condition.

The car sustained about $10,000 worth of damage, according to the Sheriff’s Office.