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Claret Ash tree succumbs to strong winds

Claret Ash tree succumbs to strong winds
19 March 2018

CCTV clip of Claret Ash tree falling in the Cave Garden

City of Mount Gambier outdoor staff are removing the remains of a large fallen Claret Ash tree in the Cave Garden this morning. The 80 year old tree was 20 metres high and succumbed to wind gusts of more than 70 kilometres an hour on Sunday morning following a storm that hit the city on Saturday night.

“We think that it came down at about 10:40am on Sunday morning. Our outdoor team and the Mount Gambier and District State Emergency Service cordoned off the area and made it safe, before responding to 10 other call outs, including an urgent call out regarding a tree threatening a house and powerlines,” City of Mount Gambier City Infrastructure General Manager Nick Serle said.

Council engages an independent arborist to inspect and assess all trees in public spaces throughout Mount Gambier on a regular basis. The latest report was delivered less than two weeks ago and indicated that while the tree was old, it was stable.

“The report was received on 8 March 2018 and recommended that no action needed to be taken with regard to this particular tree, or the other trees in the Cave Garden,” Mr Serle said.

The tree was much loved by the community and provided shade on sunny days for individuals and families to enjoy picnics within the Cave Garden precinct.
“Council has done everything it possibly can to retain this tree over the years. The tree has always been found to be structurally sound and healthy, however, due to its size and age, cable bracing was added to its limbs about 12 years ago to provide additional support between multiple branches of the tree as an additional safety precaution.”

Council will consider community comments posted on social media calling for the large stump to be carved into a public art piece.

“The tree stump will be retained and Council will assess its suitability to be carved into a public art piece. Councillors may wish to consider this in the near future depending on the suitability of the stump for this purpose,” he said.

In recognition of the historic value of the tree, Council will retain the larger tree limbs during the clean up process for potential saw milling. 
“We plan to save as much of the timber as we can to potentially reuse in the Cave Garden or elsewhere. The smaller branches left over will be mulched and used around the city.”

For further information please contact City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or