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Watch Out for that Tree!

| August 28, 2008

It’s that time of year again when even the safety of a shady oak tree on a warm summer day may not be the place you want to be standing. What am I talking about? Limb drop. It seems oak trees draw a lot of water into their limbs on hot days which can cause the limb to unexpectedly break and fall onto anything below even people and cars.

MyMotherLode.com: “This time of year when we get building high pressure, extra warm temperatures, and calm conditions, we occasionally have large oak trees or oak limbs that will fall down without any rot or outwardly visible things that we can see wrong with them,”says Yosemite National Park Forester Brian Mattos. “We have put out a general warning to not fall asleep under heavy oaks on these hot days, and not leave immobile people, such as infants or the elderly, under large oak trees even though the shade may be inviting.”

Mattos adds that last week a large seemingly healthy oak tree unexpectedly fell on a housekeeping building at the Yosemite Lodge, and thankfully there were no injuries.

“It seems to be that oak trees that have plenty of water are the most likely to fail,” says Mattos. “So in Yosemite, it is mostly along the river bottoms.”

How can you avoid becoming a victim of limb drop? Don’t walk or park under oak trees if you can help it especially ones along the river bottom that receive ample water. Make sure you have good car insurance. That’s about all you can do. Basically you’ve got about the same chance of being hit by a falling limb as you do of being struck by lightning so I wouldn’t worry too much about it (unless you’re Edie who’s experienced limb drop once already, lol).


Category: News


About Loyd: For over 30 years I've enjoyed hiking, backpacking, fishing, photographing and exploring Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. More About the Author. View author profile.

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