A limb weighing more than half a tonne has fallen from a 150-year-old poplar tree at Frimley Park.
The Populus deltoides tree, which is considered a "potential risk to the safety of park visitors" by Hasting District Council, is due to have 15 to 20 metres of its canopy removed later this month.
After a routine inspection earlier this year, increased decay was found on the tree - the largest Populus deltoides on record worldwide – with the decision made to half the tree in height amid safety concerns.
However, a HDC spokeswoman said the tree lost a limb, estimated to weigh about half a tonne on Thursday, after a combination of stormy weather and old age.
The tree was cordoned off earlier this month and independent arborists noted it had developed vertical cracks in the trunk, decay of the roots and a large lateral branch was in declining health, increasing the probability of a failure that could cause harm to park visitors in the fall zone.
"It fell within the safety cordon," the spokeswoman said. "The tree has been weakened by age and is due to be heavily pruned to reduce the risk."
The spokeswoman said a number of health and safety advisers and recreational services staff members were in the area at the time of fall.
"No members of the public or staff were in the vicinity of the tree however. But people must stay outside of the safety cordon that is around the tree until that work is completed," she added.
Ten per cent of the tree's canopy was removed in 2018 to help improve its lifespan, with a further reduction in height of 15-20m set to take place on November 25.
The spokeswoman said the work had been delayed twice due to bad weather.
She said although the council has a maintenance programme for its older trees, which sees them regularly assessed for risk and any risks addressed, the public are still urged to be cautious around big, old trees during windy weather.
Despite the reduction in height, the tree will still hold the title of the largest girth of any tree in Hastings' public parks and reserves (10.17m).
Regular monitoring of the tree will include checking its uprightness, general health and updates on the cracks in the trunk, as well as a yearly full inspection by a specialist arborist.
It's understood the tree was planted on the original homestead of the Williams family grounds, which now form part of Frimley Park.
The species was believed to have come from France in the 1770s, derived from cuttings of a female American cottonwood.