Heart Attack Level: Over 9,000

Nothing gets your heart racing like coming out in the morning to find you’ve narrowly avoided disaster. This is the sight a friend and roommate of Hooniverse walked up to yesterday morning after some storms rolled though overnight. Frighteningly close to the tip of that downed tree is my roommate’s Trans Am and motorcycle – both of his daily drivers – which were thankfully unscathed. We don’t exactly know what caused it to fall in the first place, but we’re both just happy it wasn’t a few feet taller.
[Image © 2017 Hooniverse]


    1. And much easier to get another car than to fix a house after a tree has fallen on it!

  1. From what I can tell that’s a Bradford Pear. On the plus side it grows quickly to maturity and isn’t fruit bearing, which makes it good for landscaping purposes. On the minus side its blooms smell overpoweringly like semen and the branching that occurs makes for very weak crotches as it ages. As a result it doesn’t take much of a storm to split the trunk. The street next to my dorm in college was lined with these and every spring the smell was nauseating when they bloomed. We always hoped for a late cold snap to quickly kill the blooms and the accompanying scent.

    1. Can confirm, the tree does smell horrible. There were a few of these in the courtyard of my high school where we had lunch and it was unbearable in the spring time. One of my friends named the tree species “North American Poon Tree”. It didn’t catch on I guess

    2. Yeah, I was going to say a Bradford Pear. They’re very common around North Texas, exploding in number in the last 20 years. Yes, a fast-growing tree, but the narrow branching angles make them fragile, so they easily split during high winds, or if you’re unfortunate enough to get an early ice storm, before the leaves have dropped. I put them in the trash tree category, with silver maples, cottonwoods, hackberries, and catalpas.
      Here’s the great Neil Sperry’s take, along with a link to another blog at the end, with a very blunt assessment of them.
      Neil Sperry’s Gardens: Are Bradford Pears Good or Horrific?

      1. One more plus is the ease with which woodworking tools can cut and shape it. It has a fantastic deep orange color; like Osage Orange without the extreme hardness. It’s actually quite stable as a furniture wood.

  2. Talk about heart attack level 9000: I had a similar close call several years back, with half of a large maple tree blowing down in a thunderstorm–across my driveway, my neighbor’s fence, nearly reaching my next door neighbor’s tree and missing my Saab 9000T by *one* inch. There’s a small ding under a taillight from that incident. I was home for lunch that day, so needless to say, I didn’t go back to work that afternoon. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4bdc5369d98c65a4311309d7a237ef496ab28e73720da7a1944c50cc1e9d1ce9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ceead5dac63c80f75053cd131d62addcbf999c261f11f36823eba6865443e07e.jpg

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