Yew Tree Story

This isn’t about weeds. Just a funny story I thought you would like. One night around midnight my daughter and I heard a crash and a rumble. My wife and other daughter were asleep and didn’t budge. My daughter came in and said, “Did you hear that? What do you think it was?”

Since we had had an earthquake about a year before that was the first thing I thought of. We live not too far off a main street and the earthquake have felt like a parade of tractor trailers rumbling by. But it didn’t really seem like an earthquake or trucks rumbling by. So the two of us went outside to see if we could figure out what it was.

We looked around for a bit and didn’t see anything obvious. We had gone out the back door and looked around and up and down the alley. Just as we were about to go back in mystified, I looked out to the street in front of the house and realized something was funny. Why we hadn’t gone more to the front of the house I don’t know.

But, I noticed that there were two bright lights shining through a large yew bush/tree in the front left corner of our property. As we got closer, we realized that the lights were headlights shining out from the middles of the yew and that the car was on its side. Not your normal day to day occurence.

The driver climbed out of the window that was facing up and seemed to be OK. I watched the police give him a sobriety test and he passed with flying colors, so not drunk or stoned. I think he fell asleep at the wheel. He narrowly missed hitting a large tree. If he had hit that he might not have lived. It has made me more cautious about driving while I am tired.

According to the police the driver kept changing his story and it didn’t make much sense. He claimed that someone cut him off. Wrong. The road in front of the house is two lanes each way. He was in the lane towards the middle of the road. You could tell because of the skid marks which clearly went from that lane across the curb lane, up over the curb, across our neighbor’s yard and into our yew bush.

Not this was no ordinary yew bush. It had probably been planted in 1930 when the house was built. I was about 20 feet high and 20 to maybe 30 feet across. The trunk was at least a foot in diameter (diameter not circumference) at the base before it split into different branches which were also sizeable. The car had sheared it off at the base. Luckily for him, I think the large branches had acted as cushioning.

We were amused when we spoke to his insurance company and found out that he had neglected to mention to them that he had ended up on his side in a bush. He had apparently greatly minimized what had happened.

Although we miss the magnificent yew bush, it worked out allright. The insurance money from his company paid for removal of the mess and planting of arbor vitae as a new screen. Huge old azaleas that hadn’t seen much light in probably decades started to thrive again. This spring they were spectacular. One is probably 8 feet high and about the same across and was just covered in blossoms.

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