After Walking Dog, Woman Escapes Being Smashed by Falling Elm


Video of very large tree branch removal by ‘the care of trees’ crew with a Gatwood crane.

All was calm Friday afternoon before the arrival of the big storm that closed the Eisenhower Expressway and flooded streets and homes in the western suburbs and the City of Chicago. A woman had just finished walking her dog and returned to her residence in the 400 block of North Evergreen Avenue in Arlington Heights. Without warning, about two minutes after entering her home, a very large branch of an Elm tree crashed onto the roof of the house and another large branch crashed in front of the doorway she had just entered. She doubts she would have survived, if she had been entering her doorway just two minutes later. Only minor damage to the roof and major inconvenience were the outcome.


A tree care crew “the care of trees” from Wheeling, Illinois were called and a Gatwood crane was ordered to help remove the fallen tree. The Gatwood crane was parked at the Arlington Heights Park District Administration parking lot near North School Park, and lifted huge segments of the large branches Saturday morning about 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. An agent from the Arlington Heights Park District called police to have the work stopped until a permit was obtained. Even though police arrived within minutes, the heavy branch that fell on the roof was already being lowered to the sidewalk. Police did not stop the work, and no injuries were reported. A few neighbors were perturbed that the Arlington Heights Park District employee requested the work stop order — apparently out of concern for liability to the park district if an accident caused damage or injuries while the crane was parked on park district property. Some neighbors viewed the park district employee action as an example of incompetence and lack of common sense.

The tree was on private property and the removal was the responsibility of the homeowner.

Last Sunday, less than one week ago, a woman narrowly missed getting hit by a falling power line on East Oakton Street (See The Cardinal Power Line Falls, Arcs Near Woman Walking Her Dog on Oakton St. Sidewalk).