That account set my memory racing as I recalled an earlier episode of tree falling next to our house. My husband and I do not live riverside, but we had a tree fall some years ago. When we moved into our house, the neighborhood was somewhat barren of trees. I remedied that by setting to planting trees everywhere one would fit.
We got bare root stock fir trees, that I foolishly planted about 6 feet apart. Tiny trees that are 18 inches high look pathetic when set at a proper distance to accommodate growth. What did I know? As it happens, every other tree was a Japanese pine tree--which tend to grow as wide as high. Eventually, we took down every other tree, to allow the remaining fir trees to grow--Douglas fir, blue spruce, some white pine, a couple of Norway spruce, and an Austrian pine.
Around the house, I planted hardwood trees. I picked places to plant trees by standing in the afternoon on the west side of the house. When the shadows fell, we planted a green ash, a crimson maple, and a Bradford pear (also called a Callery pear). I loved the glossy leaves of the Bradford pear. In the spring, it had pretty flowers, though stinky. And in the fall, the leaves lingered on the tree turning a lovely deep crimson red. What I didn't know was that these trees are not hardy.
We had gone to New York City over a long weekend in early November--Veteran's Day. As it happened, there was an early sloppy wet snow storm. We had just returned home, when we heard a loud CRACK outside. Since there was a storm outside, we thought it must be thunder. But, we looked out the window, and there was a tree branch leaning against it. The heavy wet snow had coated the leaves which were still on the tree, and all that excess weight caused the branch to snap.
We ran outside, to see our Bradford pear tree with one large branch broken, leaning perilously against the house.
Our neighbor from across the street came over, and began to help my husband pull the broken branch away from the house. The remaining portion of the tree now had two main branches. I wanted to be out of the way of the branch being removed from our house, so I stood on the far side of the ailing tree.
Suddenly, there was another loud CRACK and the other two main branches snapped off, falling my direction. If you picture a large Y, and if you place me at the crook of the Y, that's how the tree fell around me. I instinctively ducked when I heard the crack, and the snow-sodden leaves brushed harmlessly past my face. There I stood in the middle of the rest of the tree, now lying on the ground.
I was dumb-struck. A step to either side, and it would have been a branch whacking me on the head.
Well, in the next couple of days, the tree was completely taken down, the fallen branches chopped up and hauled off. And, where the tree once stood, we built a sun porch addition on the house.
If a tree falls...
The photo is one from the Internet--I do not have any photos of our fallen tree. What I have learned since this episode is that, lovely as this tree is, it is an invasive type of tree.