Residents shocked as giant tree falls

This large tree fell across Rome Road in Alfred Cove on Sunday, frightening residents.
This large tree fell across Rome Road in Alfred Cove on Sunday, frightening residents.

‘The tree was taller than the two-storey house it stood next to and it fell right across Rome Road,’ Mr Greenwell said.

‘It was just fortunate that no-one was in the way when it came down.’

Mr Greenwell said the residents of the block where the tree was planted had asked for a council evaluation of the tree as they wanted it removed.

‘It was rotted away underneath,’ he said.

He said the residents were told they could not remove the tree as it was on the council verge, and when it was assessed the week before it fell, they were told it was safe.

‘Someone else from the City was supposed to be coming to look at it this week,’ Mr Greenwell said.

Mr Greenwell said the council sent contractors to clear away the fallen tree, but it was some hours before traffic could move freely down the road.

– A branch overhanging the footpath outside Winthrop Primary School on Jackson Avenue has raised the concerns of local resident Daryl Binning.

He said his wife had contacted the City of Melville last June and said the branch looked like it was at risk of falling, but Mr Binning said contractors came and removed a different branch instead of the dead one.

Mr Binning, who walks his granddaughter to school along the footpath, contacted the council again after an eight-year-old girl was killed by a falling tree branch in a school playground in New South Wales.

‘I was told five weeks ago that it would be done in five to 10 days, but there has been no attempt to remove the dead branch,’ he said.

The Times was shown an email from a City of Melville customer service officer to Mr Binning on March 25, saying 11 eucalyptus trees had been referred to the City’s contractors for ‘pruning, which would include the removal of any dead branches’.

The City of Melville was approached for comment but had not provided any by the time the Times went to press.