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Massive Oak Topples, Blocking Road Near School

Oak down – photo by Conan Cocallas

OAKHURST — A once-majestic oak tree estimated to be about 100 years old toppled over this afternoon, leaving a road closed and crews working in the rain to clear the scene.

At about 12:30 p.m. today, the massive tree, rotted inside and saturated after nearly non-stop storms, fell on Hangtree Lane just west of Road 428, not far from the Yosemite High School softball field.

“The tree itself looks like it had been doing poorly, as evidenced by all the sprouts along its trunk and that the roots broke off so close to the trunk,” says Oakhurst resident Conan Cocallas, who arrived at the location not long after the tree had fallen.

Hangtree Lane – photo by Conan Cocallas

“Part of the root ball is still in the ground, right by the road. The top of the tree had broken off in previous years. The school got lucky in that what remained of the tree wasn’t tall enough to take down the fence. The trunk hit another tree across the road, breaking it off, but there’s not much in the creek that borders the fence.”

Crews from Madera County roads and tree contractors are on site to buck up the tree, and the road will remain closed for about three hours while the tree is removed.

No injuries were reported.

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