Part of an 80-year-old fig tree fell across Blissetts Road.
Part of an 80-year-old fig tree fell across Blissetts Road. Crystal Spencer

Fig tree falls, blocks Carool road

CAROOL resident Zeta Grealy says it was lucky no one was killed when part of an 80-year-old rotting fig tree collapsed over Blissetts Road yesterday morning.

Residents were trapped at home as the tree blocked the only road in or out for about 20 households on Blissetts and McDonalds roads.

Some were unable to get to work, school and the doctors.

Mrs Grealy said residents had been complaining to Tweed Shire Council about the ageing tree for close to a year.

“We’re lucky no one was driving underneath at the time, someone could have been killed,” Mrs Grealy said.

“A lot of people have been complaining about this tree for a while now. I first brought it up with council about a year ago.”

Mrs Grealy, who runs nearby Zeta’s Coffee, said she was disappointed Tweed Shire Council did not heed warnings from residents.

“They’ve been ignoring us out here and someone could have been killed from it,” she said.

“We’re just looking out for the community out here.”

“A few months ago I was walking by with a friend when a large branch fell off near us onto the road. It took both of us to move it out of the way,” she said.

Residents are now calling for the 20m-high Moreton Bay fig to be removed.

“They should take the whole thing down now following this,” Blissetts Road resident Slavia Sworowski said.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Tracey Winter was unable to get to her work in Coolangatta yesterday. Her son, Jaylen, four, was also unable to make it to pre-school.

“He was pretty upset about it,” Mrs Winter said.

It is believed the tree fell between 6.30am and 8.30am yesterday, destroying a phone pole but not disrupting phone services.

Tweed Shire Council workers began removing branches about 10am with heavy machinery and chainsaws.

A council spokesman said while it was unknown whether the tree was on private or public land, an arborist had inspected the tree recently and found it in poor condition.

“A couple of months ago, council removed the dead and diseased branches to reduce the weight of the larger branches in an attempt to save the tree and prolong its life.”

Council have planned regular inspections to check on the tree’s health.

“Staff do their best to save the tree if possible while being mindful of issues of public safety.”

In March, two arborists recommended another historic fig at Byangum be chopped down as it was in danger of falling onto Kyogle-Murwillumbah road.



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