Homeowners Jolted When 100-Year-Old “Hanging Tree” Falls in Duarte

A branch from the old oak tree fell a few days before it toppled overnight, waking up townhome residents

A large tree that stood for more than 100 years and was rumored to have been used for executions cracked and fell overnight at a San Gabriel Valley townhome complex, forcing at least five residents out of their homes for the night.

The tree fell at about 2 a.m. in the 1800 block of East Huntington Drive in Duarte. A branch fell from the tree earlier this week, according to residents at the Huntington Oaks townhomes complex.

"The whole house just jolted," said resident Maggie Griffith. "At first, we thought it was an earthquake, but then we didn't see any rubble."

Two apartment units were red tagged, meaning they were damaged and not safe to occupy. All residents found a place to stay overnight, but it was not immediately clear when they would be allowed to re-enter the apartments.

Branches collapsed onto at least one unit's balcony. No injuries were reported.

Residents told NBC4 the tree was known was the "Hanging Tree" because it was rumored to have been used for hangings in the 1800s.

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