Friday, December 6, 2013

Dodging a Bullet

Tree damage to my car, earlier this year.
It hasn't been a good year on our property this year relative to tree damage.  If you want to read about our three previous incidents of damage due to trees, please refer to my post "Killer Trees and Lumberjacks."

However, this time we got lucky and dodged the bullet, although just by an inch or so.

The other day I was up in my bedroom, on the second floor of our home, when I heard a shockingly loud crash.  I turned toward the window and just at that moment watched as a large tree went flying past, heading down the street.

A second crash occurred as the tree ricocheted off the light post out front of our house, and then a smaller bang as the tree finally fell, right in front of our property.  It landed literally an inch or so from one of our trees out by the sidewalk.

In no time several police cars and borough personnel had arrived to assess the incident, determine the cause of the accident, and finally decide whose insurance would be covering the damages.

Apparently a truck driver in a large delivery truck drove down our street, passing too close to an overhanging branch of our neighor's tree.  The top of the truck slammed the branch right off the tree and split the remaining trunk.  The broken part of the tree that traveled on top of the truck and past my window was quite large, having a diameter of about eight inches.  His truck broke down at the end of our block following the incident.

The policemen checked the front of our home and front porch for damage and found none, other than the shattered pieces strewn about from the smashed light out front.  They speculated that were it not for the buffer of the lamp post out front, that tree would've hit and drug our front porch pillars down the street with them.

The borough employees debated whether the truck driver will be at fault, or the homeowner whose tree was broken apart.  They measured from the road up to the height where the tree broke off.  They say there's an ordinance that any branches hanging over the road below a height of 13 feet must be removed by the homeowner.

The broken branch and trunk damage.

I did not hear the final result as to who will be responsible, but my neighbor was quite agitated, fearing that he would not only have to remove his damaged tree and repair the sidewalk, but would also be responsible for the damage to the upper front of the truck.

Finally the mess was cleaned up.  We gathered the pieces of the broken lamp from my porch and gardens as best we could, and the borough guys cut the tree up into logs and shredded the smaller branches.  

Some events can be blamed on Mother Nature, but not this one.

Was the truck driver going too fast?  Was he driving too close to the curb?

Or should the tree limb have been cut so it wasn't hanging out over the road?

Either way, thankfully, this time the expense does not fall on us.


  1. Yikes, that's quite a mess. Glad you didn't sustain any damage.

  2. A falling tree can cause a lot of damage and injury. I knew a man that later got killed by a tree just falling over and he couldn't get out of the way fast enough. He was just waking by when it started to fall. They come down very fast. When a tree falls on my property, the "thump" is quite loud. Hope none fall on my house or yours.

  3. Enough with the trees you guys. It could have been a whole lot worse and glad to hear that your house didn't sustain any major damage.