Yesterday evening another of the neighborhood’s big pines crashed.  Not a lick of wind.  Not a drip of rain.  No reason for it to fall.  But it did, across the road, just missing a house.

That’s the third tree to pitch itself this year.  Late summer, the back half of a house up our street was taken out by a red oak, out of the blue on a sunny, calm afternoon.   There’s never a warning  with these trees, no suspect creaking or shifty groaning.  One minute they stand.  Boom.  Next minute…boom.  And these aren’t young, stripling trees, either.  They’re mature, thick-trunked, with 75, 100, 125 years to their credit.  They fall, these red oaks and pines, because they’re root systems are shallow and eventually they just give out and give up, yielding to the forces inching them slowly and surely to their inevitable crash.

In this  neighborhood the “act of God” most likely to kill you, or at least impose some damage, is a red oak or a pine that’s reached its tipping point.  Not fire or flood, not earthquake or monsoon, not tornado or ice, but a tree falling at some random, unpredictable, unstoppable moment.  Weird.

Melissa, 38, Atlanta, USA

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