This one didn’t make it to the papers, but there were a lot of them over the holidays:
We were up at John’s aunt’s place in Northridge for the holidays. That area of Los Angeles is in one of the wind tunnel zones of the San Fernando Valley. When the Santa Ana winds are on the way, you know it.
We arrived on the 23rd, when it was somewhere between breezy and blustery. By the next morning things had died down, but the forecast was for more extreme winds. Around 3 they kicked up in earnest, and for two hours they proceeded to shake the house and lay low the landscaping outside. And then they stopped.
The sound of chainsaws started up before long, and John went to investigate. One of the tress that had been a fixture in the neighborhood had taken a hit, probably a victim of shallow watering for a lawn that doesn’t encourage deep rooting.
All the trees I read about in the papers–including one that just missed taking out the oldest building in Hollywood–were pines, many of them probably pet christmas trees that got too large or too asymmetrical for the house. When we got home I took this picture off the roof deck. My neighborhood, along with many others in town, has a number of pines, including the very Christmas-tree looking Norfolk Island pines.
These pines don’t seem to have the same problem as the Monterey pines that get bark beetles and keel over, but then again San Diego doesn’t usually get the same kinds of windstorms as the Valley does. So what’s the future for these pines? Stately, symmetrical ancestral pines? Killer tree monsters? Fortunately there aren’t any of these next door…