A man says he's lucky he was not inside his ute when a large tree branch came down on it in Rotorua this afternoon, smashing its rear window and closing a section of a street.

Contractors were called to Wylie St in Glenholme shortly after noon when a large tree branch fell, coming to rest across most of the street.

One concerned resident said he had contacted Rotorua Lakes Council several times about a tree outside his property, next to the one that cracked.

Another described the trees that lined the street as rotten and "scary".


Crewcut Lawn and Garden employee Martin, who declined to give his last name, said he was talking to a client when the branch came down.

It was only when he left the client's property that he realised it had struck the back of his work ute, smashing the back window.

"I'm really lucky to be honest," he said. "I thought, 'oh my God'."

He was "chuffed" he was not near the ute when the branch fell.

Council horticultural adviser Mark Paget, who was at the scene, said there had been work planned for a neighbouring tree.

A consultant arborist was with the crew at the site, and was also checking other sites around town.

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Staff had spent the week checking trees around town ahead of predicted stormy weather early next week, he said.

"We've got a list of work out of that."

He could not say what the timeframe for that work was.

"It depends on what the situation is."

Contractors were using chainsaws to clear the branch and debris from the road, of which a small section was cordoned off.

Wylie St resident Nigel Yockney said he had complained to the council about the tree outside his house between eight and 10 times, with the most recent complaint made about two weeks ago.

That complaint was in the form of a letter asking for urgent action to be taken.

The branch fell shortly after noon, striking the back of a ute on Wylie St. PHOTO/ STEPHEN PARKER
The branch fell shortly after noon, striking the back of a ute on Wylie St. PHOTO/ STEPHEN PARKER

The tree was next to the one that lost its branch.

Yockney said he had been telling visitors not to park under trees on the street, because he believed they were dangerous.

He said he was "not at all" surprised that one of the tree branches had come down.

Another resident said she had been living on the street for 20 years, and found the trees "pretty scary in the wind".

"They're old and rotten."

Council sports and recreation manager Rob Pitkethley said the council's ongoing tree maintenance programme monitored the 40 trees in Wylie St, which also included clearing branches from power lines, removal of dead limbs and height reduction maintenance.

"Council brought in an expert arborist who has been in Rotorua this week to carry out an inspection of the city's trees, which included checks in Wylie St. He will provide an inspection report and recommendations in due course to enhance council's tree maintenance programmes.

He said a "liquidambar tree limb" had split away from the 60-year-old main trunk on Wylie St.

"We haven't received inquiries about this particular tree but council has received a number of inquiries from residents in Wylie St over the years primarily about leaves and has been told about occasional branches coming down which we've addressed.

"We continue to encourage residents in our district to report any concerns to council on 348 4199 which enables us to identify possible issues that need checking. We also encourage anyone walking near trees to be vigilant especially in severe weather such as wind, gales and rain."