Gale topples 5-tonne tree onto houses

Tree worker Patrick Schollum cuts up the wattle that came down in Birkenhead yesterday. Photo / Natalie Slade
Tree worker Patrick Schollum cuts up the wattle that came down in Birkenhead yesterday. Photo / Natalie Slade

A tree weighing five tonnes crashed on top of two homes in the Auckland suburb of Birkenhead during Saturday's gale.

However, the roofs withstood the force, shielding the occupants from injury.

The mature wattle toppled from a bank above the houses in a valley off Mokoia Rd about 2pm.

Resident Steve Grace said the tree twisted as it fell and some of its branches hit his roof and those of his neighbour.

"I heard a boom as I was watching TV and the house shook," he said.

His neighbour, Nat Allan, said his 3-year-old son Alexander had been playing in the bedroom just before the tree fell on to it. "He got a high-five from the fireman who came to make it safe."

When the tree was cleared away it revealed dented roofs and crushed spouting. A check for more structural damage will be made today.

Mr Allan said the incident was a surprise because the valley was normally sheltered from winds.

- NZ Herald

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