Video: Fallen tree on College; apparent cause is wind

A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland
A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland

Local resident John Holland captured dramatic photographs and video of a 50-foot tree that fell down Monday at College and Alcatraz avenues in Berkeley, apparently due to wind.

The tree fell shortly before 3:30 p.m., on the west side of the street just above 3170 College.

Holland went live on Periscope to document the situation. Watch the video below.

City spokesman Matthai Chakko confirmed, at about 4:35 p.m., no one had been hurt by the fallen tree, and the Berkeley Police Department was on the scene. Traffic was moving through the area, and city forestry staffers were investigating the cause of the damage, he said.


He said shortly before 5 p.m. that wind appeared to have been the culprit.

Holland said the tree appeared completely hollow inside. One car appeared to have been damaged by fallen limbs, he said.

“You can see why it’s fallen down, it’s rotten inside,” one man who was watching first responders work told Holland as he broadcast live on Periscope.

“It’s a big tree. I hope the homeowners are OK,” added another woman in the area. The tree fell onto an orange house across from Tara’s Organic Ice Cream shop.

Describing the incident during his broadcast, Holland said, “This just happened.… There was no warning. It sounded like a truck full of lumber just completely fell over.”

Musing during the recording, he added, “It was windier than usual,” but said the wind did not seem strong enough to blow down a tree.

A helicopter began circling overheard at about 4:10 p.m., and TV news crews responded to the area.


Northbound traffic on College, at Alcatraz, was closed for about 40 minutes while authorities inspected the scene.

Scroll down for more photographs from readers.

A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland
A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland
A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland
A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland
A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland
A fallen tree on Alcatraz and College. Photo: John Holland
As of about 4:45 p.m., TV news crews were apparently on the scene. Photo: Citizen reporter
As of about 4:45 p.m., TV news crews were apparently on the scene. Photo: Mark Chekal-Bain
‎Susie Wyshak shared this photograph of workers on scene with the fallen tree just before 7:25 p.m.
‎Susie Wyshak shared this photograph of workers on scene with the fallen tree just before 7:25 p.m. Monday.
The tree that fell Monday: Peter Sussman, who shared this photo, wondered if trimming may have contributed.
Before the fall: the tree that toppled Monday. Peter Sussman, who shared this photo, wondered if trimming may have contributed.

This story was updated after publication due to the developing nature of the incident.

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