Huge tree falls in Menlo Park

Click on photos to enlarge.

A huge stone pine tree fell at about 6 a.m. Saturday, March 10, at the corner of Sharon Park Drive and Warner Range Avenue in Menlo Park. Luckily, it fell away from the home of owners Daphna Davidson and Jesse Rodin, and no one was injured. Five people were in the house, including a 10-month-old baby.

"We were very, very lucky," Ms. Davidson said.

The tree blocked traffic for a time, but the streets were cleared later that day.

A city arborist told the couple the tree may have fallen because of tension caused by the large limbs. After a truck hit one of the major limbs several months ago, an arborist checked the tree and said it was OK, Ms. Davidson said.

"The tree was really beautiful," she said. "It had astonishingly long limbs. Its canopy was huge. It shaded the street and probably two-thirds of our house."

-- Jane Knoerle


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Posted by tree care
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Large, mature trees are one of the things that make Menlo Park special. Unfortunately, we too often take these giants for granted. Numerous large trees like this Stone Pine have fallen in recent years. Residents and the City could all do a better job of caring for our trees. Simple steps, like making sure they get the proper amount of water (not too much or too little) and are routinely pruned, will go a long way toward preserving them for future generations.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Wish the trees along the Alameda in Atherton were maintained. They haven't ben trimmed for years. Many hang at perilous angles over the road. When they fall, or when a major branch gives way, someone could very easily be killed.

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Posted by Some Guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:08 am

Yes, someone could very easily have been killed, people are very easy to kill.
You [portion removed; be respectful of other posters] cannot prevent death. Doesn't matter if the tree was maintained or not. It makes more sense to mourn the loss of shade and beauty the tree provided than to worry about someone getting killed.

Of course, our government kills thousands of people all over the world every day, I don't see you campaigning to stop those people from being killed.

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Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

SOME GUY....thank you for a clear voice.

I admire a lot of your posts because you are not a fanatic like a lot of the political types who think about nothing but this area.
The war and the fallen troops are rarely, if ever mentioned not the killing of thousands of people every day around the world.
Luckily, through some people who do not visit this web site or paper, there are a LOT of them who cannot wait to be noticed and THEY WILL.
Things are going to be making a major turn in the next two months and the HUGE money support and where it comes from will be nationally known.
At least we do not have to hear about Rush Limbaugh.....I thik we are rid of him and the other tyrants who worry about local issues and not the world. Thanks again and have some of your friends tune to the crap these people dote on.

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Posted by tree care
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Some Guy and R. Gordon: Please stay on topic. Thank you

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is fascinating how many names the same person is using from the same IP address.

Once again an all too common violation of the Terms of Use.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm

WOW! A simple comment about the dangerous overhanging trees along the Alameda in Atherton generates so much craziness from "some guy" and "R.Gordon.

I simply hope that the trees on the Alameda get cut back.,,,,i.e., less shade over the road and more safety. The trees' growth has become hazardous. They need trimming.

For the record, I support the vets 100% and want the war ended. Do I need to list my political philosophy to get you to calm down? Honestly, your letters are weird.

It's raining today and the showers will continue for the next several days -- not a good time to drive under those trees, especially during rush hour when so many cars sit there.

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Posted by Davidson
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

For the record, we had the tree pruned less than a year ago at considerable cost to us. We loved that tree. If anyone - our arborist, the City - had advised us on what more we could have done to keep the tree standing, we would have followed their instructions. Unfortunately what we learned through this experience is that Stone Pine trees have very shallow root systems, and it turns out that the very thing that makes them so beautiful - the long limbs - also make them dangerous. Unfortunately they really need to be cut back dramatically and managed as much smaller, less fabulous trees. It's a real shame that we had to learn that this way.

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Posted by tree care
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

Davidson: Sorry that you lost this tree. But thanks for sharing your experience. Hopefully some good will come of this.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Pruning the tree clearly wasn't enough. Just because you spent money on it doesn't mean what happened was okay. What happened was incredibly dangerous & you clearly didn't do enough. Whatever arborist you used needs to get an earful, Davidson.

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