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Massive, Century-Old Oak Tree Falls, Trapping Elderly Woman In Home

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A massive, century-old oak tree fell Wednesday morning, trapping an elderly woman in her Sacramento home and blocking a nearby street.

The tree fell in front of a home on American River Drive near Callnon Court in the Sierra Oaks neighborhood, where the homeowner, Ginger, has lived for 46 years. She was reading the paper when the tree fell and said it felt like an earthquake hit.

“It made a horrible noise,” she said from her back doorway. “I’ve been here since 1965, and that was one of my favorite oaks.”

Part of the massive tree was blocking Callnon Court.

While the home itself avoided damage, the downed tree was blocking the front door and garage of the home.

Ginger’s caregiver was able to reach her by telephone and confirm she was unhurt and joined her inside the house as Sacramento County workers began to remove the tree.

Crews were cutting up the 30,000-pound tree. Their first priority was the street, then the side street, then making a path so that Ginger can exit the home with her walker. It will likely be mid-afternoon before it’ll be done.

The tree suffered from root rot, an arborist on scene said.

fallen tree Massive, Century Old Oak Tree Falls, Trapping Elderly Woman In Home

A large fallen oak tree blocks the garage and front door of a home on American River Drive and Callnon Court in Sacramento on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (credit: CBS13)

The Sacramento-area is also known for a phenomenon called “Sudden Limb Drop” in which a tree branch or limb suddenly breaks off during hot, calm summer days.

According to the city of Sacramento website, many arborists believe “Sudden Limb Drop” is caused by heat stress and weight from additional water uptake.

It also usually impacts older, mature trees with ash, elm, eucalyptus, oak, maple and plane among the most susceptible species.

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