"Winds, rot topple family landmark"

"Kyle and Tiffany Hoch climb the fallen trunk of their grandmother's willow tree Thursday, the day after the tree fell in a mild windstorm.Matt Johnson / staff photosBonnie Williamson didn't hear a sound when a 40-year-old willow tree fell in her front yard Wednesday night.It was her husband, Joe, knocking on the bedroom window at 3:30 a.m. as he left for work that let her know the twisted, viney tree that her children and grandchildren have played on for years had snapped during the night's mild wind storm.He pounded on the window and said our tree fell down, she said.Williamson, who lives on Guemes Avenue in Scatchet Head, said her family is one of a small number in the area who have lived there long enough to watch the trees grow. The willow tree, which was only 10 feet high when the Williamsons and their children moved into their home 25 years ago, was about 40 feet high when it fell Wednesday. Winds topping 29 m.p.h. rocked the tree and snapped it near its base where rot had eaten away all but one large root.Even as the tree lay on the ground Thursday night, the Williamsons' grandchildren, Kyle and Tiffany Hoch, were having one final climb along its trunk and through its branches. Kyle said the climbing was easier than before tree fell.Bonnie Williamson said she placed calls to Massachusetts, California, and Everett to tell her children that Mr. Willow had fallen in the night.I told them that Mr. Willow is no more, she said.Williamson said she knew the tree was near the end of its life before it fell. She said she hopes her children will bring her a new tree she can plant where Mr. Willow stood watch over her family for the past quarter century. "

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