.Giant Sonoma County Oak Falls in Storm

One of the countless local trees toppled by the “hurricane-force” winds of last weekend’s storm was a massive and majestic oak along Ursuline Road in the Mark West area, between Windsor and Santa Rosa. “For decades it withstood floods, fires and everything humans could throw at it,” the Press Democrat writes. “Then came last week’s rains.” When nearby residents discovered that the largest, most ancient grandmother oak in their neighborhood — believed to be around 100 years old, and five feet wide — had gone down with the storm, one reportedly said in a text to her family: “The giant has fallen.” Here are some more details from the Press Democrat story — which is really quite poetic, with some big Julia Butterfly Hill vibes. “She was a survivor. For decades the oak stood when her closest neighbors were walnut and prune trees, in addition to sycamores and at least one giant maple. She stood when the houses came. And she stood when those houses burned to the ground the night of the Tubbs Fire in October 2017. For decades she was a home to woodpeckers and European starlings. She offered a resting spot for a pair of red-tailed hawks. It was unclear whether the great horned owl that sounded in the early morning hours made its home in her branches, but it was certainly nearby, her neighbor said. But a dayslong storm that whipped the North Bay with torrential downpours and wind gusts that hit 80 mph in Sonoma County through the weekend ultimately proved too much for the stately oak. Sometime between nightfall Monday and dawn on Tuesday, she fell.” You can read more here. (Source: Press Democrat; paywall)


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