St Jude packs a punch over St Albans

A tree which fell during the storm on Monday morning still lies acrosss two driveways 24hrs later

A tree which fell during the storm on Monday morning still lies acrosss two driveways 24hrs later - Credit: Archant

As the storm blew through the St Albans district on Monday morning, hundred of trees toppled over from the weight of the wind, with many left on pavements and in gardens for over 24 hours.

Tony Robinson, of Chestnut Drive, St Albans, spent Tuesday chopping up part of a huge tree that had fallen across his driveway and blocked his and his neighbours cars when Herts county council failed to remove it.

He said: “It fell at about 7am yesterday when that great gust of wind came. I chopped bits of the end off so I could get out, but I just thought the council would get a tree surgeon out.

“Herts Highways said they would do it within the day and we’ve contacted them three times. I didn’t call them again, I got fed up with calling.

“We pay the rates so they should clear the trees. It just seems a bit of a poor show.

“My neighbours have got two little girls and they can’t get out [of the drive]. What if there had been an emergency?”

Elsewhere in the district a 120ft tree was left to weather the violent winds in Mile House Lane on Sunday night despite homeowners previously voicing their concerns that part of it would crash onto their property.

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Strong winds caused a 40 ft branch to hurtle into Isabel Reynolds garden fence on Monday at around 6am, narrowly avoiding a conservatory and public footpath.

The grandmother contacted Herts county council twice to try and get the large tree taken care of and said they sent someone out last year to inspect it but did not find a problem with it.

She then called again in August because large branches had been falling in the garden and she was worried about the grandchildren who often came round to play.

They told her she could cut any overlap down herself and sent an arborist out once again, but she never heard anything back.

She said: “Basically I could have told them this was going to happen. It’s lucky nobody’s been hurt, that’s the most important thing.

Now Isabel is desperate for them to come and fell the tree: “The problem is the way it’s balanced, it’s stuck and it urgently needs trimming.”

A spokesman for Herts county council’s highway contractor Ringway said anyone concerned about a fallen tree should log it on the online fault reporting system and that crews were working hard to clear everything but there is a backlog.

In response to the fallen tree in Mile House Lane he said the tree was inspected by an arborist back in August and they were currently waiting for his report to come through before taking action, adding: “It’s something we’re seeing quite a lot of, trees that were a week ago absolutely fine have now started to become unsafe because of the storm.”

Thanks to all our readers for sending in their storm pictures this week. A gallery of all those submitted can be found on our website at