Danger as tree falls in freak collapse
WINDS have blown down a large tree just metres from a busy road.
And residents have demanded to know why the 30-foot lime tree, in Pittville Circus, was not inspected more closely after its rotting trunk snapped in half this week.
The tree came down onto a grassy area just off the road – injuring no one in the process – but neighbours said it could have been much worse if it had fallen the other way.
Keith Fagan, who lives nearby, said it could have easily caused a nasty injury to passers-by or serious damage to parked vehicles.
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He said: "It's a pretty big tree – possibly up to 30-foot high – and it could have caused all sorts of problems if it had come down in the other direction.
"It could have seriously hurt anyone walking on foot, as well as causing damage to parked cars on the roadside.
"I didn't see the tree come down, but when I went to look at it, you could see the wood was completely rotten.
"I'm surprised that wasn't picked up by the council because with a rotten trunk like that it was only a matter of time until it came down."
The tree is thought to have collapsed in high winds on Monday afternoon. Yesterday, borough council workers were out chopping the dead branches and clearing them away.
The authority said it carried out regular checks on trees in the town.
In this case, tree officers said the rotting wood was not obvious from the outside – meaning it would have been difficult to foresee its collapse.
Senior tree officer Chris Chavasse said: "The lime tree snapped in half at two metres, which is unusual.
"The wood inside the tree was quite rotten, however, the branch work in the crown of the tree showed no loss of vigour and no dieback, so there was no reason to assume there was anything wrong with the tree.
"The tree was last formally inspected in 2010 and no programme of work was identified. A new tree will be replanted later this year."