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FOX 5 San Diego

Tree removal companies busy after destructive Santa Ana winds

By Jason Sloss,


LAKESIDE, Calif. — “Things happen,” said Tim Griggs, reacting to the enormous eucalyptus tree that fell on his Lakeside house Thursday morning.

“Tree was huge — it already had a lean towards the house. I had a feeling something was going to happen,” said Griggs.

Part of the 120- to 140-foot tree – which was on a neighbor’s property – fell on the roof, tearing a hole above the dining room, leaving debris and shattered glass all over the floor.

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Griggs says thankfully no one was home at the time. But neighbors called to tell him what happened.

“They said it sounded like an earthquake and just a real loud rumble when it came down,” said Griggs.

A crew spent the next day cutting up a portion of the tree to get it off the house.

Because of Thursday’s Santa Ana winds and saturated soil from recent rain, local tree removal companies are swamped.

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“We’ve had a lot of calls. We’ve seen a lot of trees down — I see them all over the place,” said Larry Coalson, owner of LC Tree Service.

Coalson says tree removal can be a slow, dangerous process — and costly, with some jobs going for tens of thousands of dollars.

“It’s really about who can get there the quickest and who’s able to have a pretty competitive quote,” Coalson said. “Quotes are gonna be high because there’s a lot of insurance work. There’s a lot of variables — all these different loads. It makes the job way more dangerous.”

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