Pacific Palisades Tree Failure

In June 2006 in Pacific Palisades, a large carob tree fell over and crushed an unoccupied SUV. The street was closed while emergency crews cleared the street. A couple days later, a large limb off a eucalyptus tree fell a block from where the carob had failed. NazairoSauceda, from the Bureau of Street Services in the Public Works Department, commented on the tree failure, “We are investigating the tree that failed. They don’t fail like that typically.” The carob tree failed at the root ball and when it fell over, it totaled the SUV. Michael McRoskey, the owner of the SUV, said, “The scary part is if someone had been driving down that street around noon, they’d be dead.”

Tree failures are caused for a number of reasons, and each tree needs to be inspected individually for signs of over-weighted canopy, root damage due to construction, or overwatering and underwatering.

Before this incident, two other carob trees had failed at their roots and three other eucalyptus trees had shed large branches in Pacific Palisades. Residents have expressed concern over the potential hazards, but street tree superintendent Ron Lorenzen explained that there are about 700,000 street trees that are on a pruning schedule, but that the city only has funding to trim about a tenth of those trees each year. That means that the trees are on about a nine to ten year pruning schedule.

One local arborist commented that the city needs to have more funding up front for the care of the trees instead of having to pay legal expenses for damages once a tree fails.

Evergreen Arborists Consultants, Inc. has experience in examining thousands of trees. We evaluate a tree’s signs and symptoms ranging from decay, poor branch structure, poor pruning and maintenance practices, and roots.Please call us today for a consultation.