The huge tree has fallen across Church Place North and St Augustine’s Crescent is also now closed
All traffic – including buses – is being diverted from Church Place North and the upper part of St Augustine’s Crescent today following the collapse of a half of a huge fir-tree.
The tree is rooted in the “triangle” – an area of undeveloped land owned by Penarth Town Council adjacent to Church Place North . Two massively tall trunks – both 50 feet high – had grown from the common root.
It will take several hours to remove the fallen tree and all its branches. The second trunk growing from the same root will also have to be felled
One of those trunks had rotted at its base and it had crashed down across the road at 08:30 this morning – with its upper branches in the St Augustines churchyard.
Local residents say they heard a noise like fire-crackers going off as the base of the tree gave way and the huge trunk crashed down onto the road .
This Mercedes car miraculously survived without a scratch despite being parked within inches of where the tree came down (Photo Will Havard)
A parked Mercedes saloon came within inches of being crushed by the tree as it toppled down onto Church Place North- but miraculously survived without a scratch. The collapsing tree, also narrowly missed a shipping container being used as a builders’ store by contractors carrying out work on nearby houses
The “twin-trunk” of the tree was left still standing – but it too has now been felled – removing a hazard for St Augustine’s Crescent
There was no warning as the tree gave way and there were no unusually strong winds but the wet weather may have made made the ground less stable .
Tree surgeons are now on the scene to cut up the fallen trunk but the most urgent task was to fell the other 50 foot twin-trunk in case that too has been weakened.
The danger of this second tree collapsing was the main reason that traffic has been diverted this morning.
Until road signs were erected later this morning workmen were having to wave down buses by hand and advise them not to use St Augustine’s Crescent because of the imminent danger of collapse of the second trunk.
The snapped base of the trunk appeared to have rotted through
Had that trunk fallen in the opposite direction it could have hit houses on the other side of the St Augustines Crescent .
The route also forms part of the Wales Coast Path and walkers on the route this morning were being advised to keep clear until the “twin trunk” had been brought down .
Later in the day tree surgeons safely felled the twin trunk of the tree which was left still standing when the other tree collapsed. That tree trunk has been left lying full length along the grass of the “triangle” .
The removal of this hazard meant that St Augustines Crescent could be opened again to traffic this afternoon
Meanwhile Church Place North fremained closed overnight and the tree which collapsed this morning has yet to be removed
Contractors called in to deal with the problem waiting for heavy equipment to arrive to bring down the second tree and clear the first
Teams from JV Tree Services and Tree-Tops tree contractors will be on the scene again tomorrow morning
The trees in this area are amongst the oldest in Penarth and the fir-tree which collapsed this morning was over 100 years old.