Santa Cruz County

Reaction to fallen cypress tree on Santa Cruz home

Tree ordinance has neighbors worried about their safety

Residents nervous after cypress tree falls on home

Clean up was underway Thursday in one Santa Cruz neighborhood after a Monterey cypress tree came crashing down on a home Wednesday night near the Santa Cruz harbor.

"It was like an explosion. I was outside and I just got this like panic attack," said Chantelle Foulks who's tree fell on the house across the street.

Foulks saw the whole thing go down, and the tree came from her yard. She was relieved the tree didn't fall on her house, but she's still fearful.

"I thought the tree would eventually fall, but I didn't think it would go in the very little wind we had yesterday," said Darius Mohsenin, who owns the house the tree landed on, and he says the recent wind and the drought is a recipe for disaster.

"We all love trees, but we have to remember it comes with danger. There is a tree-cutting ordinance in the city. In fact, I violated it and didn't realize it," said Mohsenin.

Mohsenin got a $1,500 fine from the county after he cut out some old roots that were breaking up the sidewalk. In this case, roots may be to blame again.

Neighbors say fireman on scene told them the roots were dry, and may have caused the tree to fall down. Nancy Beekman had quite a scar, when one of the firemen on scene told her it could happen to any of the trees in the neighborhood.

"He points at mine and says yes that tree could go at anytime. I said thanks a lot that's my house I really appreciate that," said Beekman.

Nancy Beekman who has a very large Monterey Cypress Tree called her arborist first thing this morning. City and county rules do allow you to maintain trees on your property, but in most cases a permit and inspection period is required to take the tree out completely.

"We are sort of keeping an eye on it. That's the best we can do," said Beekman.

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