In one of our more unusual public service announcements, we're here this week to tell you to watch where you park that picnic blanket.
In the wake of heavy winds and rain two weeks ago, trees in and around the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park, already affected by the ongoing drought, have been rendered vulnerable, and have started dropping limbs. And with more rain in the forecast for the next few days, the incidents could continue.
The most prominent and earliest limb drop involved the Monterey cypress on the southern Panhandle pedestrian path at Cole Street, which shed a 20-plus-foot limb immediately next to the path. The limb remains at the site, though it was swiftly trimmed up and placed away from the path's traffic.
Earlier this week, another Monterey cypress limb dropped on one of the large magnolia trees immediately inside Golden Gate Park, at Page Street. Both trees lost some serious cordage, which has since been stacked and set aside.
And today, city crews (pictured at top) were out in the Panhandle to address the newest casualty, a downed limb from an elm tree that fell on the Shrader Street crossover path.
Downed trees in the park are nothing new, as neighbors will remember from a couple of recent incidents, including a big one earlier this year. So far, no one has been reported injured in any of the tree falls, but given that a woman was critically injured and paralyzed by a falling tree limb in Washington Square Park in August, it's best to be on high alert and take extra caution when you're setting up that beer cooler.
Typically, the Monterey cypresses are the biggest threat, along with the occasional eucalyptus, both for the size of their limbs and for their height.