STOCKTON (CBS Sacramento) — Earl Summers and his wife Nancy were relaxing inside their north Stockton home when they heard something that sounded much like gunfire.
“All of a sudden we heard the biggest commotion I’ve heard. I didn’t know if it was an earthquake or a train running through the backyard. My wife jumped up and looked out the window and hollered, ‘oh my God!'” he said.READ MORE: Man Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison For Horrific Box Cutter Attack on Elderly Victim in Concord
An old oak tree next door, which had provided shade for 30 years, had exploded. Pieces of it were all over yards. One of those pieces broke through the Summers’ home.
“The limb just blew off. It was full of water which supposedly oak trees do — in the winter months they fill themselves with water so they can survive through the summer. We had no wind or anything. It was really calm and it just broke and came down,” said Summers.READ MORE: UPDATE: Suspect Arrested After Armed Standoff In San Jose Neighborhood
An arborist said such events occur during dry conditions when the temperatures soar. Just like people, trees sweat, a process called transpiration.
“Trees bring in moisture and they need to release that moisture. On hot, calm days when there is not a lot of wind, that transpiration — or sweat — decreases. The water is still being up-taken, but it’s not released so something has to give,” explained Justin Widgren, owner of NorCal Arborists.MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Hayes Valley Shooting After Driver Critically Injured
Neighbors are waiting for their insurance companies to assess the damage. In the meantime, they are helping each other clean up the mess left behind.