The remains of the redwood tree at 1420 Holly St. before it was cut down. Photo: Neil Mishalov
The remains of the redwood tree at 1430 Holly St., before it was cut down, on April 1, 2014. Photo: Neil Mishalov

A clean-up operation was underway today after a giant redwood tree in North-West Berkeley exploded after being struck by lightning during a storm on Monday, sending large chunks of wood flying all over the neighborhood. Nearby homes and cars sustained damage, and some witnesses said wood debris landed as far as two blocks away from the site of the tree at 1430 Holly Street (at Buena Avenue).

Fortunately nobody was injured during the dramatic incident, although during the same storm lightning struck 31-year-old Emily Davis as she was crossing Adeline Street about two miles south of the site of the tree.
Crews worked to remove the debris that spewed from the tree after it was struck by a lightning bolt on March 31, 2014. Photo: Neil Mishalov

There were reports of another redwood tree being struck by a lightning bolt in Berkeley, south of Derby between MLK Jr. Way and Milvia. The intensity of the strike blew out several nearby windows.

On Tuesday, crews came out to finish clearing up the wood debris that was strewn around the neighborhood, including large sections of the redwood that landed on roofs and in yards. The remains of what Berkeley Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb estimated was a 75 ft tree were also cut down.
A car took a hit from flying wood chunks. Photo: Neil Mishalov
The explosion of the tree caused damage to nearby homes and left a trail of wood in the neighborhood. Photo: Neil Mishalov
Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 4.07.20 PM
The remains of the giant redwood was cut down on April 1, 2014. Photo: gina g10

Woman, 31, struck by lightning in south Berkeley (03.31.14)
Lightning strikes Berkeley tree, sends wood chunks flying (03.31.14)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...