A tree, knocked over by 30-mph wind, fell onto the Fine Arts building at SF State on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (Aaron Levy-Wolins / Golden Gate Xpress) (Aaron Levy-Wollins)
A tree, knocked over by 30-mph wind, fell onto the Fine Arts building at SF State on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (Aaron Levy-Wolins / Golden Gate Xpress)

Aaron Levy-Wollins

Tree falls on Fine Arts building

February 21, 2023

A tree fell on the Fine Arts building Tuesday, causing no damage to facilities or personnel. 

Pedro Reyes, a campus safety officer, said he got the call about the tree around noon. By the time he got to the scene, he saw a massive Monterey pine leaning against the building.

“It’s a big tree, but there wasn’t much damage and it wasn’t very loud,” Reyes said. “ It could’ve been much worse.”

Robert Murphy, a grounds manager for SF State, stood by the scene with a hat reading “certified arborist.”  According to him, the tree’s demise was inevitable. 

Individuals assess a fallen tree resting on the roof of the Fine Arts building at SF State on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. San Francisco is experiencing high wind gusts causing the National Weather Service to post a temporary wind advisory Tuesday afternoon. (Benjamin Fanjoy / Golden Gate Xpress) (Benjamin Fanjoy)

“This tree has been here for a long time,” Murphy said, gesturing at the upturned roots near the blacktop. “When they built this walking path, they cut right into the roots. If you look at the top of the tree, it looks completely green and healthy, you can see pinecones. Since the roots were cut off, the high wind just kind of knocked it over.”

Murphy said the tree’s removal will be easy, despite its impressive size. 

“We’re just going to call a contractor and cut it piece-by-piece from the roof and remove it,” Murphy said. “The building doesn’t have any damage, so it shouldn’t be too bad.”

As of 1:45 p.m., the tree is protected by caution tape and is in the process of being removed.

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Joshua Carter, Editor-in-Chief
Joshua Carter (he/him) is the editor-in-chief for Golden Gate Xpress. He transferred from CCSF as a creative writing major but quickly switched to photojournalism with a minor in geography once he landed at SF State. Joshua spent six years in the Navy, served as photo and nonfiction editor at Forum literary magazine, interned as an editorial intern at Alternative Press, and is striving to be a groundbreaking filmmaker and multimedia journalist. In his free time he listens to audiobooks, falls into wiki holes for hours, and performs with his punk band.
Photo of Benjamin Fanjoy
Benjamin Fanjoy, Staff Photographer
Benjamin Fanjoy is a San Francisco-based photojournalist. Originally from Maryland, Benjamin moved to San Francisco in the summer of 2018 after completing his five-and-one-half year enlistment in the United States Coast Guard. He is currently studying Journalism (concentrating on Photojournalism) with a minor in Political Science at San Francisco State University. Benjamin has photographed social justice movements of historical relevance including Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, Abolish ICE, the wildfires in Northern California, San Francisco's response to Covid-19, and the immigration surge at the Tijuana-San Ysidro Port of Entry in Mexico. Benjamin has worked with The Associated Press, Bloomberg, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Standard, El Tecolote and Golden Gate Xpress.

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