THE ROT SETS IN: Tree specialists cut down the rest of the rotten fig tree which fell down in Nelson Reserve on Thursday afternoon and (inset) the rot-affected base of the tree.
THE ROT SETS IN: Tree specialists cut down the rest of the rotten fig tree which fell down in Nelson Reserve on Thursday afternoon and (inset) the rot-affected base of the tree. Renee Albrecht

Action on Nelson trees

THE fig tree which fell on a woman in Nelson Reserve on Thursday afternoon had been inspected in June and declared sound, Mayor Mick Curran said yesterday.

Cr Curran said Gympie Regional Council workers had cleared and fenced off the area where the tree fell, damaging children's play equipment which fortunately was not in use at the time.

Contractor Troy Smillie was yesterday on site with a crew from his Goomboorian company, Cooloola Vegetation Services.

The tree involved in Thursday's drama was being removed and mulched after one of its three trunks broke off at an apparently rot-affected section of its base.

"Then we'll go with these other trees (including several figs) and do weight reduction," he said.

This would involve cutting a lot of the horizontal spreading branches, leaving the crown of the tree so it would not die.

The trimming would relieve stress on the trunk, he said, pointing to vertical stress cracks in some of them.

"The weight of the branches is one factor, but they can also be a big sail in the wind," he said.

"We're cleaning up parts of the tree that fell on the playground, as a result of natural causes.

"Then we'll remove the rest of it, because it's decayed and just about to split off anyway.

"Then we'll go through the rest of these trees and trim them up and make them safe for the public," he said.

Cr Curran said the council routinely undertook a tree inspection program for trees located in high use public areas. "In June 2015, council engaged an external specialist arborist to inspect trees in Memorial Park and Nelson Reserve.

"At that time this particular fig tree was assessed as is in very good structural condition, structurally sound at the test height. It was also recommended that the tree be retested in 60 months.

"There will always be a risk when the natural environment is mixed with public use areas," he said.

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