Fallbrook sentinel felled by county

The tree stood as a sentinel for 100 years over Fallbrook. The smooth, light skinned sentinel was one of the oldest living things in Fallbrook and stood 75 feet into the air. You could not wrap your arms around the base; it was over six feet in diameter. It was there long before La Paloma School and any of the houses of the neighborhood.

It grew on county right-of-way for Fallbrook Street. It took three days, two industrial cranes, a very large circular as well as smaller saws, and three different crews under contract to the county to bring it down and cut up the body and limbs. They said (1) it was diseased or (2) it was leaning.

I inspected the tree and could find no diseased portions in the material on the ground and the center of the trunk was solid. I never measured the “lean” in the leaning tree of Fallbrook but someone said it did lean. Was this alarmist?

The cost to us, paid by the county to the contractors, had to be humongous. The cranes were there for three days and had to run hundreds of dollars per hour. Felling the sentinel had to result in a bill to the county over nearly $20,000. We’ve got to take our oldest trees more seriously.

John Watson

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