Giant oak smashes on to rental company trucks

By Kiri Gillespie

The owner of a rental company got a "hell of a fright" when he arrived at work to find a massive oak tree branch had fallen on top of two of his removal trucks.

"I come to work at 7am and the gate, well there was no bloody gate because the tree was in the way," Kent Valley Commercials manager Dave Sutton said.

"We've always said they're [the trees] bloody dangerous."

The branch, which measured about 1m wide in girth and about 27m in length, smashed holes in vehicles and arborists were on the Gate Pa site yesterday trying to remove it.

Two rental trucks were damaged and a smaller single-cab truck was blocked in by the debris, which also fell on to the business' security fence.

Mr Sutton said the trees had always hung precariously over the access.

Neighbours told Mr Sutton when the section tore off at 3.30am on Tuesday.

"We've been waiting for something like this to happen. We were always told those were protected trees and we're not allowed to touch them," Mr Sutton said.

It is understood the tree in Kent St was planted by a former soldier who lived in the area.

Tauranga City Council spokesman Marcel Currin said the tree had been listed as having historic and botanical value but it was not listed as a protected tree.

It was not known what triggered the branch to fall.

Mr Sutton said while the fallen branch had blocked the business' access way, trade had not been hampered because there was another entrance. The business was insured but he did not know what the cost of damage to the trucks would be.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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