SOLANA BEACH — The large limb off of a more than 50 foot tall pine tree in a Solana Beach neighborhood gave way late Friday night, taking with it utility poles and cabling and creating unsafe conditions for the families living on the property. Residents in a converted duplex on the 300 block of Granados Street were woken to the sounds of the falling limb.
Monique Magdaleno, who lives in one of the units with her son, said she was lying in bed around 10 p.m. when she heard the sounds. The noise, she said, was like a machine gun or firecrackers.
“I almost ducked,” she said when she heard it. “It took a while for it to come down.”
She watched as the limb fell and pulled down the utility cables and poles.
The fallen limb knocked down five utility poles and two blocks’ worth (approximately 1,000 feet) of power, phone and TV cabling. Time Warner, AT&T and SDG&E were on scene and worked throughout the night to restore the equipment. AT&T and SDG&E reinstalled the five poles; Granados Street had remained closed as cabling was still being hoisted off of the ground Saturday afternoon
The home was built in 1951, said Maria Suggett, who had only been living at the property for the past three months. She said she thought the tree was about the same age.
“A neighborhood legend has fallen,” Suggett said. “I think it rotted out, and about a third of it toppled over last night and it caused considerable damage,” she said.
There was no official damage report made, according to the Sheriff’s Department, and there were no apparent injuries.
Magdaleno said that the responding firefighters told her and Suggett that it was unsafe for them to stay at the residence, due to safety concerns that the remainder of the tree could collapse. The remaining tree branches are angled precariously over the roof of their residence and another neighbor’s home next door.
Magdaleno and Suggett have contacted the owner of the property Paul Parker, who told Magdaleno that he’s arranged for the tree to be removed as soon as Saturday.
The tree has never been an issue before said Magdaleno and Suggett. Suggett has a table underneath the tree where she and her grandkids would have picnics. “It wasn’t a scary looking, this tree is about ready to go, kind of look; it looked very stable,” she said.
“It wasn’t a frightening tree at all, it was pretty comfortable actually,” Suggett added.
Dr. Lisa Longworth and her husband have lived in a residence just above the property where the tree is, and have been trying to work with the owner to trim the tree, she said, because it’s “huge.”
She said they’ve paid several thousands of dollars to have the tree trimmed. The tree, Longworth added, is “very much in our face. We look out to that tree.”
Once the tree is removed Suggett said that she’ll give the chopped up tree to friends and neighbors for use as firewood.