Car damaged after ‘dangerous’ St Albans tree collapses

PUBLISHED: 12:22 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:22 25 October 2018

(L-R) Charmouth Road residents Anne O'Reilly and Gill Owen next to the fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house. Picture: DANNY LOO

(L-R) Charmouth Road residents Anne O'Reilly and Gill Owen next to the fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Archant

A dead tree which was reported dangerous years ago damaged a car when it finally fell over.

The fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOOThe fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOO

The large branch toppled onto Gill Owen’s car in mid-October, scratching paintwork on the bonnet and trapping the vehicle in her drive.

Gill had alerted Herts county council to the precarious lifeless branches about three years ago, believing it was an “accident waiting to happen”.

Although tree surgeon contractors came out promptly once it had fallen, Gill believes everyone had a lucky escape.

“Half the tree was dead, it could have landed on a pedestrian or the road and I was saying it would cause an accident.

The fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOOThe fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOO

“I am just disappointed because I did the right thing, everything you are supposed to do. It was very lucky it landed on the car and not the road where there are lots of cars and cyclists and people walk by.

“It was a health and safety hazard. I felt the tree had been waiting to fall down and I don’t think it should have been left that way.

“Obviously it wouldn’t have damaged the car if it had been taken down when I reported it.”

She pointed out that debris left from the felling has still not been cleared up from her neighbour’s garden.

The damage done to Gill Owen's car after a tree fell onto her drive during high winds on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOOThe damage done to Gill Owen's car after a tree fell onto her drive during high winds on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOO

At the time a spokesman for Herts county council said: “I can confirm that our contractors were called to deal with a damaged tree in Charmouth Road, St Albans, last week.

“This has now been cleared from the site. We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the condition of this tree.”

Gill is a charity worker and housewife who has lived in St Albans for 26 years.

Not all trees are Herts county council’s responsibility to maintain, but the authority says it will remove any trees that are dead, diseased, or damaging property.

The fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOOThe fallen tree outside Gill Owen's house on Charmouth Road. Picture: DANNY LOO

A tree felling caused outrage in St Albans recently - in August the Clock Tower robinia was chopped down due to immediate safety concerns.

It had been planted in the 1970s where an water fountain used to sit, after the St Albans Civic Society complained about the appearance of the area.

To report a tree fault, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk

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