KARA Place residents will step up their fight to have several eucalyptus trees removed from their street after a large branch fell onto a resident’s front lawn on Saturday morning.
Fortunately no one was injured by the falling branch from the council street tree outside Derek Parkes’ home, but the residents fear disaster could strike next time.
Mr Parkes and other residents of the street have repeatedly asked Orange City Council to remove the trees, which they believe are dangerous after 20 years of cleaning up leaf litter and coping with tree roots buckling driveways and causing trip hazards.
Saturday’s incident, and the death of a Sydney schoolgirl when a gum tree branch fell in Pitt Town last month, has the residents concerned.
“There are two large divisions, a split in the fork of the tree, and I think the other one will be coming down very shortly,” Mr Parkes said.
“I’d hate to be underneath it.”
Resident Len Gillette said young children played near the tree on Friday afternoon and a car was parked beneath it shortly before the branch came down.
“They’re not safe, they’re going to kill someone. I don’t think it was windy on Saturday or Friday night ... I think [the branch] just dropped off like the one in Sydney with that girl,” he said.
“I want someone up here to look at my tree. It’s no good closing the stable door when the horse has bolted"
Mr Parkes said his neighbour Pam Cassidy called him at about 11:30am on Saturday morning when she heard the thud of the tree branch.
She relies on an oxygen tank 24/7 and has asked the council numerous times to remove the trees so she is no longer forced to pay for the leaves and litter to be cleaned from her gutters and front lawn, and can avoid cracks in her home’s walls caused by the tree roots.
“It was a big branch and people often walk around putting pamphlets in the letter boxes,” she said.
“I want someone up here to look at my tree. It’s no good closing the stable door when the horse has bolted.”
Council spokesman Allan Reeder said the tree would be inspected today, after the complaint was received late yesterday afternoon, but the eucalypts were found to be healthy when they were examined about 12 months ago.
“When a resident reports a fallen branch from a street tree, Orange City Council’s tree crews take that as a cue to inspect the safety of the tree. With the strong winds on the weekend, there were a number of reports of fallen branches and as a result a Manchurian pear was taken out in Urunga Place and a radiata pine will be removed from a reserve in Barrett’s Estate,” he said.
It’s always more helpful if residents ring council directly as soon as convenient so we can take prompt action.”