Three Cranes Required to Extract Giant Cedar from Pair of Homes


In what was predicted to be the last major rainstorm of the season last Thursday night wind gusts that reached 80 mph in some parts of the Bay Area caused a five-story tree to become wedged between two Alameda homes. Fairfield’s Arbor Unlimited needed to coordinate the efforts of three cranes in order to extract the tree without further damaging the Gold Coast homes at the intersection of Grand Street and San Jose Avenue.

Arbor Unlimited completed most of the job Friday, with cleanup efforts continuing into Saturday. Public Works closed Grand Street to traffic for most of the afternoon Friday while the tree crews arranged their cranes and reduced the tree to logs and wood chips in the middle of the thoroughfare.

“If we could have gotten away with one [crane] we would have. There were no other options,” Arbor Unlimited’s president Chad Morin said. “The difficult we do first, the impossible just takes a little longer.” According to Morin, the tree was an incense cedar estimated at 75 years of age.
A worker on the scene described the situation, which had the bottom end of the tree stuck in one house while the top rested on its neighbor’s roof as, “crazy.” 

According to the work crew, one crane lowered a worker who affixed the other two cranes to either end of the tree, securing it, and preventing further damage to the homes before the tree was cut. A few spectators watched the project unfold from nearby sidewalks.