Excessive heat gives rise to ‘summer limb drop’

Foothill Boulevard pedestrians ventured outside their homes Monday morning to find their pathway blocked by a massive fallen eucalyptus branch, a sidewalk deterrent on Foothill just east of Indian Hill Boulevard.

Though the hefty limb certainly turned heads, it is just one of many seen in conjunction with what arborists refer to as the yearly “summer limb drop.” And no, it’s not a specialized dance move.

Also referred to as “sudden limb failure,” the summer limb drop occurs during periods of extreme heat or drought. Though there is no agreed-upon explanation for the phenomenon, arborists believe it may be related to lack of adequate soil moisture or drought stress.

Claremont residents are reminded to be wary, especially with trees prone to “the drop.” Such tree species include liquid amber, eucalyptus, oak, ash, pear, sycamore, silver maple, and poplar trees.

The phenomenon can occur to any tree regardless of health, and breaks typically occur along the length of the branch rather than the part that is attached to the tree trunk.

For more information regarding summer limb drop or to report a fallen tree branch, call Claremont’s Community and Human Services Department at 399-5431.

—Beth Hartnett



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