What Is the Sound of a Tree Falling on Eugenia Street?

Koan: If a tree falls on Eugenia Street when all the neighbors are home, does it still make a sound?

Answer: Absofrikkinlutely!

Reader Danny sent us this dramatic tale of gravity-induced mayhem and neighborly solidarity that occurred last night, along with the essential post-disaster photograph:

Sorry for blurry night-picture, but rest assured the entire United States of Eugenia and Bonview were out taking more pictures for quite some time after it fell. Hopefully somebody managed to take a pic that conveyed the majesty of the fallen giant, which is currently blocking both theoretical lanes of Eugenia.

It’s actually just one of the bigger branches of the eucalyptus trees that line this block. One neighbor, who was heaving an axe at the obstruction within minutes, and who gave his name as “John Bunyan,” said the trees were planted in the seventies by another long-time Bernal resident, “who was feeling civic-minded.”

The eucalypti still mostly tower over the houses here, but they have a bit of a reputation for sudden falls from grace. Last halloween the same tree shed another branch, falling on a (fortunately well protected) pick-up truck.

This time was even luckier. The branch, which was about forty feet long and pretty hefty, managed to fall neatly into the one open parking spot on the block. Even though Eugenia is blocked, no-one was hurt, and the top fronds are only lightly draping themselves on the car parked on the other side of the road. Still, somebody is in for a shock when they wake up tomorrow.

In case you want a little warning when a tree falls near you, here’s the sound it makes, as heard by most of the street. First it sounds like “somebody stepping on cardboard boxes,” then “a bunch of firecrackers going off, but a bit too quiet.” Then comes the crash, and the impromptu block party when everyone comes out to see what the hell just happened.

The 311 case number is 906301. Not sure if it’s this the final death-knell for the rest of the tree, but we’re all looking a bit more cautiously at what remains.

PHOTO: Reader Danny (top), Reader Jason (below)

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7 thoughts on “What Is the Sound of a Tree Falling on Eugenia Street?

  1. My arboriculture professor, way back when, referred to this type of Eucalyptus as “self pruning”. Hah!
    I’m always wary of walking along Eugenia on windy nights for just this reason…

  2. We have a very large eucalyptus in our back yard. We had an arborist remove another tree in the yard, and he pointed out then that the eucalyptus didn’t look as if it had been pruned in approximately forever (ie, the prior owners never pruned it), and he warned us that eucalyptuses are prone to dropping branches. $1200 later, our eucalyptus has been pruned, and we will have to do another (less expensive) round next year, and then they will “take the height down,” which will apparently improve safety. And then we will sleep more peacefully at night, secure in the knowledge that our eucalyptus will not self-prune.

  3. Pingback: New Neighbor Interview: Meet Dana; She Just Moved Here | Bernalwood

  4. I planted the trees across the street in about 1973, including the one that stretches across Eugenia at the corner of Bocana. Back then, the wind bent the sapling so I straightened it with a pole and it still has its graceful angle westward. So glad it’s still standing, statuesque, at the intersection.

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