Wind Topples Trees on Campus

A tree fell north of the Student Community Center.
A large eucalyptus tree fell north of the Student Community Center. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The heavy winds that knocked out power and snarled the evening commute across the region also did damage to campus Wednesday (Jan. 18), toppling at least four large trees and keeping crews busy into the early morning hours Thursday. Another tree fell several hours later.

Official reported no injuries and no damage to buildings.

A fallen tree.
A tree in Parking Lot 35 fell victim to Wednesday's strong winds. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

“Three large trees came down in the core campus area,” said Cary Avery, who leads Grounds and Landscape Services. “The soil is just too wet (from ongoing storms) to hold the root systems in place.”

Those three trees — a stone pine in Parking Lot 35, across from the Activities and Recreation Center; a eucalyptus on the north side of the Student Community Center; and a stone pine at Hutchison Drive and Bioletti Way — were blocking pathways and had to be cleared right away. Grounds crews worked until 1:30 a.m. to remove them, then were back at 5:30 a.m. to continue cleanup operations, which included a stone pine that fell near Academic Surge.

That includes “a ton of stuff in the arboretum,” Avery said.

The tree that fell Thursday afternoon was another pine, this time on Kleiber Hall Drive. Avery said it too was a victim of the soil being too saturated from the rains.

Facilities Management reported power failures at most off-campus buildings, which are connected to the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. grid and not UC Davis’ own.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento reported gusts of wind between 50 and 60 miles per hour Wednesday, with the strongest reported at 63 mph at the Sacramento International Airport.

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