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If a Tree Falls in South Pasadena – Does it Make a Sound?

When a tree falls in South Pasadena it does indeed make a sound. At least if it’s a large tree that falls over in a light wind storm.

On Sunday, June 7, 2020 a large tree in my front yard fell over. According to my wife who was in the front room of our house at the time she heard:

“SNAP!!”

Pause

“BOOOOOOM!!”

That particular tree has been growing in our front yard at our South Pasadena home for at least 21 years (likely longer). I estimate that it was at least 60 feet tall and about 2+ feet in circumference.

A likely contributing factor to the tree’s demise was a hive of bees that had set up home in the trunk a few years ago. We had the bees humanely removed – however once the tree had fallen you could see the inside was compromised by the bee activity.

Immediately after the tree had fallen over – my wife called the non-emergency police line for the South Pasadena Police Department. An officer arrived in minutes and set up caution tape to alert motorists that a tree was blocking the street.

It was a small miracle that no one was injured. On a weekday our street is filled with cars and people – mostly trekking to Trader Joe’s on the corner. Since it was Sunday – no cars or people were near the tree when it fell over.

Shortly after the police arrived, the South Pasadena Fire Department was called out to check for electrical hazards. It turns out that the tree had indeed fallen on a suspended line – but it was the old phone line. Of course no one complained because hardly anyone uses the land lines for phone connectivity anymore.

Once safety was verified by the fire department, South Pasadena Public Works was notified. Even though it was a Sunday – the public works team arrived shortly thereafter and promptly cut and cleared most of the tree out of the road. By the next morning the only thing left was a stump and some warning cones.

It remains to be seen what will happen with the stump – and whether or not the city will plant another tree to replace it. The area where the trees are planted on our street are on the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street. This is a city owned easement – so technically the tree is the responsibility of the City of South Pasadena.

Since it’s not urgent and we are still in the middle of a pandemic with many city offices operating from home or lightly staffed – I’ll be patient and wait to see what the city decides to so. Stay safe out there in South Pasadena – or wherever you are!

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