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Hello Hillsboro: Danger is lurking in your own yard
knowles tree
A large tree in the yard of Sentry Enterprise Associate Editor Jack Knowles broke apart June 23 and dropped into the yard branches connected to another, larger branch that split from the trunk and fell to the ground. - photo by Jack Knowles photo

This column came within about a half minute of not being written this week!

A big tree in our side yard broke apart and dropped some large branches that are connected to the huge branch that split away from the trunk and fell to the ground.

The dog and I were standing under that tree, directly in the path of the fallen branch about 30 seconds earlier before walking to the driveway to get some “treats” to reward Socks for remembering why she makes regular trips to the yard.

It was one of those experiences that don’t immediately grip you with the realism of what could have been the outcome. This was a true surprise. Not even a “Timber!” warning.

I remember hearing some unusual sounds and wondering if the squirrels were angry because their regular provider mistakenly included some stale peanuts. Were they throwing them at me from a high branch?

No, but they were no doubt preparing for the ride of their lives. After spending a lifetime leaping through the air from tree to tree, they certainly were not used to riding a large section of a tree to the ground like a roaring river raft.

My family was there quickly after hearing the large CRACK in the house and hurrying to the yard.

The section of the tree that split off the trunk fell on top of a car, owned by my daughter and her husband, parked on the street under a long branch.

As usual, Hillsboro Mayor Greg Kubarski  was on the scene of a local problem almost immediately. Of course, he does live at the end of our street and owns a tree removal company. In fact, he has already taken down two other trees on our property, but we wanted those removed.

Next came Sterba Insurance to check any damage to the car, along with a few neighbors who had heard the “snap” followed by the falling branches hitting the ground.

Greg says that we can kiss the entire tree farewell because if the remains are left standing, the same thing could happen with worse results.

I, for one, will miss it because it was a beautiful tree, provided much needed shade, and had some great places to leave peanut snacks for its current residents.

However, no doubt Socks and I would feel a bit differently if we hadn’t left the scene when we did!