Council inspector tells worried parents 'No one has ever been killed by a falling tree branch in Sutherland Shire'

A large branch of a huge gum tree on council land hangs over the courtyard of a Caringbah villa where two young children play. Picture: John Veage
A large branch of a huge gum tree on council land hangs over the courtyard of a Caringbah villa where two young children play. Picture: John Veage

A Caringbah couple was taken aback by the response of a council inspector when they requested the removal of a dangerous tree branch.

They inspector told them, "No one has ever been killed by a falling tree branch in Sutherland Shire".

The couple had contacted Sutherland Shire Council after a large branch from a huge gum tree on council land fell and smashed the fence of the courtyard of their villa home.

Their two young children play in the courtyard, and the parents feared a remaining large, overhanging branch would also fall.

They were finally told the tree would be trimmed in "the next cycle", but they were not told when that would be or whether the full overhanging branch would be removed.

In response to questions from the Leader, the council made no comment on the inspector's statement that "No one has ever been killed by a falling tree branch in Sutherland Shire".

"Council has a rigorous process around the assessment of trees, their structural stability and any potential risks they may pose to the public," a spokeswoman said.

"The assessment process involves a tree management officer, who is a qualified arborist, visiting the site and determining what works are required, which may include pruning or removal.

"Council's tree management officers assess a range of influencing factors that inform their decisions, including tree growth, maintenance requirements and what council can do to reduce possible risks.

"The pruning works for [this] tree are scheduled to take place in early May, weather permitting.

"The damaged branch, which [is] overhanging the courtyard area, is to be pruned back to the main trunk and selected other branches will be also pruned from the tree."

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