The crane from Bob's Crane Service in Lakeside was brought in by Atlas Tree Service to remove a tree.
But this was no common tree.
A gargantuan Torrey Pine that had grown many decades, was brought down, perhaps due to safety concerns, by four area property owners.
With a trunk measuring five feet in diameter, the tree grew from a point near the common corners of four separate lots between the 900 block of Catalina Boulevard and Temple Street.
Crews arrived at 8 a.m. to begin the task and finished taking the tree down by about 4:30 p.m. Huge pieces of the trunk were left on the street and a median that separates the homes from the main lanes of Catalina Boulevard.
A representative of Atlas Tree Service said the pieces, some weighing tons apiece, would be removed the next day and taken to a company that cuts them into firewood – lots of firewood.
The cost of the project, likely in five figures, was split by the four property owners, according to a neighbor.
A worker pegged the cost for the crane alone at $550 per hour with two diesel support truck/trailers, other trucks and a crew of about a dozen needed to perform the work.
One worker, who awed neighbors dubbed "Spiderman," jumped about effortlessly in the highest branches of the tree cutting limbs with a chainsaw and working his way down.
Workers with radios communicated with the unseen crane operator as increasingly huge pieces of the tree were lifted and swung over nearby homes, leaving some residents uneasy.
Some residents speculated the tree may have been planted by local historical figure Katherine Tingley who led Lomaland, a Theosophical commune from 1900 to 1942 on what is now the nearby Point Loma Nazarene University campus.