By Jim Shilander

A large eucalyptus tree in Verde Park was uprooted late Friday potentially reviving a debate over the fate of several mature trees at the park.

Neighbors reported that the tree fell across the nearby path from the upper campus of San Clemente High School to the main campus, damaging the fence between the park and the path.

Resident Elizabeth Morrison said the tree had recently been trimmed and had fallen without aid of wind or rain. She said the tree landed only about 30 feet from her home.

“I’m concerned about the safety issues. I always have been,” Morrison said. “If there had been kids on the path they’d be dead.”

SCHS Principal Michael Halt said there were no issues Monday when school resumed with the path or the damage to the fence.

Morrison sent pictures and information about her experience to both city and Capistrano Unified School District officials. The land on which some of the trees sit is owned by the district.

The Verde Park eucalyptus trees had been at the center of recent debates over the loss of private views due to the growth of city-owned trees.

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