Why did oak tree fall in park?

PEARSON PARK in Anaheim (Flickr/Ken Lund).

Anaheim has recovered a fallen tree that tragically took the life of a woman in a vehicle at Pearson Park on Sunday and will begin the process of evaluating the tree this week.

The tree, a 60-foot bur oak, was cut into three large pieces Sunday night and moved to a city yard. A forensic arborist is expected to begin assessing the fallen tree this week.

On Sunday at about 2:50 p.m., the tree unexpectedly fell from the southern end of Pearson Park onto Cypress Street, just east of Harbor Boulevard. The tree landed on a parked Ford Explorer where a 62-year-old Anaheim woman was inside.

Maria De La Luz Cruz was pronounced immediately deceased upon arrival of Anaheim Fire & Rescue.

“My heart, and the heart of our city, goes out to the family and all impacted by Sunday’s tragedy at Pearson Park,” Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken said. “With sorrow and sympathy, our thoughts and prayers are with a family that has lost a loved one in this unthinkable time.”

The fallen tree was cut into sections from the base and trunk and removed from atop the vehicle to recover the deceased.

Those tree sections, along with land around where the tree stood at the park, will be what is analyzed over the next two weeks.

The tree’s overall health will be examined for structure, density, color, fungi or any other issues. An initial assessment by a licensed arborist on Sunday found no immediate concerns.

A forensic arborist will look at weather and overall conditions on Sunday and also explore whether there was any recent construction or changes to the area.


3 replies »

  1. Check Google Maps for photo of tree from last summer. It looks incredibly dangerous. Not sure how city can honestly stand behind comment that all park trees are checked at least weekly.
    The photo shows a tree that any of us would take care asap if it was leaning like that over our house and had a section of dead branches.

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