Limb on electric line closes Indian Hill

Traffic near the Claremont Village is being diverted as crews deal with a large tree limb that fell alongside Indian Hill Boulevard. Claremont police responded to the 500 block of Indian Hill at around 9:30 a.m., closing the southbound lane between Harrison Avenue and Sixth Street to allow Southern California Edison (SCE) employees to evaluate the situation.

“The branch is resting on a steel cable between two supporting poles,” Sergeant Robert Ewing said. “We’re waiting for the tree crew to arrive and remove the remaining branches.”

Homeowner Cynthia Gordon has lived at the residence for 43 years and says that while the 103-year-old podocarpus provides wonderful shade and keeps her home cool in the summer, it’s tremendous size—about 60 feet—has been a growing concern.

 “I’ve often worried about something like this happening,” Ms. Gordon said. “It was only suppose to grow to be about 20 feet tall. I’m just glad it didn’t hurt anybody or land in my neighbor’s yard.”

Often sold in nurseries, the podocarpus is native to Africa and its dense canopy makes it a popular shade tree in southern California. It’s considered one of the cleanest trees in that leaf drop is almost non-existent and the species generally remains free of pests and disease.

At maturity, the podocarpus can reach 50 to 70 feet in height and can expand as much as 20 to 30 feet in diameter.

According to an SCE employee on site, the broken limb weighs an estimated 800 pounds and is resting on both a telephone cable and an electric line. Since the tree belongs to a resident and not the city, SCE will initiate the branch removal.

“I just wonder who’s going to get the bill for this,” Ms. Gordon pondered.


—Angela Bailey


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