Massive construction project going on outside my office door – scheduled to last three years (lucky me!). Just heard a huge crashing sound, walked outside, and found a 130-foot eucalyptus tree laying on its side, branches snapped, debris everywhere. And under a large bough, the dean’s car. He was not in it at the time and no one was hurt; he was even able to drive it away. But wow.

Theory is that some of its roots were cut by a Godzilla-sized backhoe during adjacent construction, and today’s high winds gave it enough nudge to seal the deal. Eucalyptus don’t have very deep roots to begin with… I’m sure the contractors are going to have some explaining to do. It really was a beautiful tree.

Photos here.

Music: Brian Eno :: Needles in the Camel’s Eye

5 Replies to “Timber!”

  1. Grab some of the branches if you can. Use them for a fireplace. Nothing smells better than eucalypt wood for burning.

    Last year, while in India, I was feeling a little homesick (for Australia) and happened to walk through a village street where they were burning some eucalypt wood to cook their food. That smell was all it took to comfort me and remind me of home.

    Shame the tree is gone though. Although, they are nasty suckers of water those gums – and change all the acidity levels in the soil.

  2. Tim, it was weird – they didn’t have a permalink for the story when it went up, and it doesn’t appear in their search engine now. Go figure.

    Kristan, they had a crew in there early the next morning. 20 hrs after it fell, the whole thing was completely gone, as if it had never been there. Revisionist history!

    I know what you mean about the home connection. Morro Bay, where I grew up, has great forests of eucalyptus, so I also have a strong connection to them (and i lived in Australia for a year!)

  3. >Revisionist history!

    Scot, that would have happened in India too. But for different reasons. Everybody would have pilfered as much as they could for free firewood. Some may even have taken bits and then started selling them.

    Where I was in India (7,500ft above sea level in a mountainous area) trees were protected by the parks and wildlife services and you could be fined for chopping one down.

    Now, ironically, where I live in Australia (besides a fine beach on the coast south of Sydney) they’re chopping them down like crazy to make room for more housing estates. Sad, sad, sad.

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