Near miss as tree collapses at Caringbah

A Caringbah South resident had a lucky escape recently when a huge gumtree collapsed in his backyard.

Kurt Vogt, who lives on Yathong Road, was cleaning leaves from his pool on November 27, when the tree smashed down, metres from where he stood.

It crashed onto his pool fence, shattering glass all across the grass and into the water.

"It destroyed everything in his path," he said.

"The glass exploded. It's lucky I wasn't killed or that my grandkids weren't out there because they're usually running around outside. One minute later I would have been buried under that tree."

Mr Vogt, who has lived in the same house for 30 years, said he warned Sutherland Shire Council about the tree, and two others near it. He said the tree, which was situated in the neighbouring construction site, was clearly dangerous.

"The roots were sticking out and had damaged the concrete," he said.

"Another tree came down in the house behind mine. The one that fell into my yard was the biggest - over 20 metres."

He called SES and contacted the council.

"No one is around weekends, and I couldn't get onto the private development site next door," he said.

A spokesman for the council said it was removing the tree after the council was notified on November 28.

He said council staff inspected the site and issued emergency orders for the removal of two other trees, which staff determined were structurally unsound. This was done on December 2.

"Council continues to work with the owner of the property, on which building works are currently underway, to review the condition of any remaining trees and ensure that suitable replacement planting is undertaken in accordance with the approved plans for the site," he said.

"Council's Development Control Plan provides scope for local residents to address concerns they have regarding trees on private land which have become structurally compromised and pose an immediate risk to life and property.

"Residents are able to immediately engage a private tree contractor to assist where they feel a tree on their property may be at risk of imminent collapse, with suitable visual evidence and a statutory declaration required to demonstrate the urgency of the work."

The council recommends that residents contact their insurer, and report hazards caused by falling trees on public land via the 'Snap, Send, Solve' app, unless it is an emergency.