A Rotorua man is thanking his lucky stars after a large tree was blown down only inches away from his home.

Steve Holmes was letting his dog out on his Fenton Park property last night when he noticed a big tree was sitting extremely close to his house.

"The dog had totally freaked out so I let him out ... I didn't feel or hear anything though!"

Holmes discovered the mammoth tree had tumbled during strong winds.

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He said if the tree had fallen any other way, significant damage would have been caused and people could have been at risk.

Steve Holmes was lucky his house did not fall victim to the tumbling tree. Photo / Supplied
Steve Holmes was lucky his house did not fall victim to the tumbling tree. Photo / Supplied

Thankfully, nothing was damaged and Holmes was working to get the tree removed.

MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris said strong winds battered the Bay of Plenty region yesterday and were strongest mid-afternoon through to evening.

The winds were south-westerly and had a decent amount of strength to them, but luckily they began to ease across the region by 10pm, he said.

He said Rotorua felt its biggest gusts between 3pm and 4pm with winds getting up to 68km/h.

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Western Bay of Plenty was shaken with 90km/h winds with the local council receiving 14 calls about various trees falling across roads.

A tree was also found blown over in Rotorua Central. Photo / Supplied
A tree was also found blown over in Rotorua Central. Photo / Supplied

Traffic was crawling for a stage after a tree fell down and covered half of Plummer Rd in Whakamarama.

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In Tauranga, gusts got up to 72km/h with a big tree blocking Reid Rd in Pāpāmoa with vehicles unable to get past.

A number of callers reported a tree down close to the intersection of Mountain Rd and No 2 Rd in Oropi, where an 8m tree fell and blocked the northbound lane. The tree needed to be cut in order to be removed.

The Tauranga City Council received eight weather-related calls, mainly about tree maintenance and removal or street sweeping.

In Rotorua, a large tree was blown down near the Rotorua Library.

A Rotorua Lakes' Council spokeswoman said they had no major weather-related call-outs or issues.

Whangamata alone had a total of nine small weather-related callouts to Fire and Emergency NZ and one in the Whakamarama area.