Lompoc residents OK after parts of large Italian Stone Pine tree fall on homes

Large tree branches fall down in...

LOMPOC, Calif. - Large tree branches came tumbling down onto an apartment in Lompoc early Thursday morning. It all happened along the 200 block of H Street. It’s a wake up call residents didn’t expect to get.

"It felt like an earthquake, it felt like our place was shaking,” said Cara Jackson. She lives in the apartment complex where the tree came crashing down. 

Without any warning, a large tree branch from an Italian Stone Pine tree came thumping down. 

"It’s scary whenever these trees come down,” said Jackson. 

The first thing Jackson did was to make sure everyone including her son were okay.

"I have a 4-year-old son and he plays right where the tree fell so I was grateful it happened in the middle of the night,” she said. 

Pictures show where the branches from the historic tree caused damage to two cars and the roof tiles of the nearby apartment.

"We checked on each other everyone woke up to make sure everyone was okay,” said Jackson. 

Urban forestry crews spent most of the day chopping the tree down.

"Safety is a huge thing for us we were fortunate that no injuries happened,” said Codie Blea, Urban Forestry Supervisor in Lompoc. 

Blea said that due to the way the tree branches broke off, the only way to make sure the tree is no longer dangerous to people who live in the area is to cut it completely down.

"It’s beautiful, but, with that comes challenges, the maintenance challenges are extreme,” he added. 

While these Italian Stone Pines are a Lompoc landmark, people say it’s better to be safe than sorry.

"We inspect these trees annually with visual inspection,” said Blea. 

"They are beautiful tree, you can replace car but you can’t a life,” said Jackson. 

Once everything is removed all that will remain left of this tree is the stump.

Forestry crews say every three to five years they create a maintenance plan. That’s when they remove branches that may be too heavy or be in danger of falling on homes or in the roadways.

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