Council to inspect Knox Park trees after trunk crashes into playground
AN ARBORIST will inspect trees at Murwillumbah’s Knox Park after a rotten trunk fell on the new playground on Saturday, narrowly missing a child.
The tree narrowly missed a slippery dip and its crown crashed into a table where a child had been sitting just moments before.
Tweed Shire Council’s manager of recreation services Stewart Brawley said while an arborist conducted fortnightly inspections of trees close to play equipment, an extra audit would take place this week.
“There was some evidence of previous termite damage which could have contributed to decay in the fallen tree,” Mr Brawley said.
Mr Brawley said the park’s well-established trees, which were planted as part of the Peace Walk, offered crucial respite from the sun and a “sensory-rich” environment for park visitors.
“Council was also conscious of safety at the site and its arborist inspected all the trees retained as part of the playground development,” he said.
“Our arborist undertakes a fortnightly inspection, checking for any decline in the trees, die back of branches and any works that need to be carried out.”
Mr Brawley said the tree’s termite damage and decay could only have been identified by a sonic tomograph test and was not yet visibly evident.
“If this week’s audit finds any evidence that requires further examination, a consultant could be engaged to complete sonic tomograph testing,” he said.
“All care is taken when tree inspections are carried out but we are dealing with a living organism exposed to natural forces.”
Council’s Parks and Gardens staff removed the fallen tree after it was reported on Saturday.
Mr Brawley said the adventure playground, part of a $1.2 million youth precinct, had been busy since its opening in November.
“The playground has been extremely well patronised since its opening and the shady and scenic setting has been a leading reason for its popularity,” he said.
He said there were no reports of injuries from the fallen tree.