Residents of a housing estate in the heart of Newbridge were aghast when a 200-year-old tree toppled down without warning.
The 40-foot chestnut tree fell over a busy road during lunch hour traffic last Friday.
The aged tree, on a green area in Moore Park, crashed down towards the Capella Court apartments at 1.50pm, blocking the road to all oncoming traffic.
“We’ll miss it, but the main thing is that nobody was hurt,” said local resident Jim Parker.
“It must be a couple of hundred years old as it was part of the Moorefield Estate. It was big and majestic and all the children round here would have remembered climbing it and searching for chestnuts. It was a feature of the place, my kids played conkers with the chestnuts. It was rotten to the core but there was no indication that it was going to fall.”
According to Mr Parker, one lone chestnut tree now remains standing, which at first glance, still looks healthy.
“There is a second one there andit will have to checked,” he added. “I presume that the council will establish whether it is healthy or not. We’ll put in another one. Residents are sad about it - it leaves a gap.
“The traffic seems nearer as the tree used to deaden the sound.”
Mr Parker added that the trees had been topped recently, but speculated that the weight of rain on the leaves and soft ground contributed to the fall as there was very little wind last Friday.
“People miss trees - some people even hug trees - they have an affiinty with them,” he said, adding “ Poems are made by fools like me but only God can make a tree. “
Another resident, who wished to remain nameless, heard the tree crash onto the road.
“I went upstairs to see what had happened. That road is so busy with traffic and pedestrians from 9am to 6pm on any day especially a Friday. There would be lots of traffic normally and a number of people walk up and down that road but on the day there was only one car coming and miraclously nobody was injured. It hit the ground and that’s all there was to it.”
Sgt James O’Sullivan from Newbridge Garda Station said the tree was either top heavy or rotten as there was no wind that day.
“A JCB came and removed it,” he added.
A spokesperson for KCC said that there was no obvious indication that the tree was rotten, but chestnuts are prone to internal decay.
“We will check the other trees as soon as possible,” said Annette Aspell.
- Paula Campbell