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Eucalyptus Branch Fall in Mugga Way Red Hill 6/3/2014

By 7 March 2014 19

Today, when travelling along Mugga Way, Red Hill, I witnessed the sudden and unexpected fall of a very, very large branch from a eucalyptus tree. The branch was so large that it blocked both lanes of traffic and it required a chainsaw to cut and remove it.

Two travellng cars and a cyclist were within a ten metre vicinity of the branch drop; it was only sheer luck that no-one was hurt/killed.

Two points of interest that I noted about this event:

1. The extraordinary reaction of ACT commuters. Tradies caught up in the road block unpacked thier equipment and quickly and without fuss chain-sawed up the branch and removed it. Another group of tradies donned thier hi-vis vests and redirected traffic. Others comforted those who were shaken by their very close call. Passing school boys from CGS cleared the road of debris and carried branch parts out of the road. All up, the road was cleared within 25 minutes, well before the SES arrived on the scene.

2. The second point of interest, of which I have reflected on since the event, is the huge danger posed by very large eucalyptus trees in urban environments, particularly those close to roads. Only three weeks ago, a child in Queensland was killed in by a falling limb of a eucalyptus tree.

I commend the actions of all people who helped to solve a problem; it was lovely to witness and very praise-worthy. On the other hand, I question the incessant dogma that trees in Canberra can not be removed, even if they are indeed dangerous.

What do our Rioters think?

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19 Responses to Eucalyptus Branch Fall in Mugga Way Red Hill 6/3/2014
#1
Felix the Cat10:35 am, 07 Mar 14

It’s great that everyone pitched in and cleared the roadway quuickly but I think falling limbs is just “nature” and short of chopping down every single eucalyptus tree there’s not a lot that can be done.

Should everything that might harm us be banned or killed? I heard someone got hit by a car the other day, we should ban them. Someone else got bitten by a dog, let’s kill all dogs.

#2
enrique10:52 am, 07 Mar 14

Re. Q1) Agree – well done to all. Great story of everyone chipping in together. Wish there was more of it.

Re: Q2) Relax man. You live on planet earth which has tree branches falling and all sorts of other unanticipated events just like this. Life happens.

In particular, you live in Australia where eucalypts are all over the place – cutting down trees is last century thinking. We need to be planting more trees in as many places as we can.

#3
troll-sniffer10:56 am, 07 Mar 14

Oh dear, the old ‘everything must be sanitised and safe’ chestnut rears its cotton wool head again.

Trees grow, provide environments, shade and scenery. Once in a blue moon a tree will drop a branch. The chances of anyone being under that branch are mind-bogglingly minute. Smaller even than the chance of getting hit by lightning. Much much smaller than winning Lotto. How many people do you know who have won Lotto AND been hit by lightning? They would probably be in the same risk category as being killed by a falling branch.

The notion that every single risk should be removed from our lives is not only unworkable, it’s ridiculous. Where would you draw the line after chopping down every large gum tree in Canberra? Would we build a large Faraday cage over the city to prevent lightning from hitting the ground? Would we lower the speed limits to 5km/hr and mandate cars be covered in polystyrene? Would we force cyclists to wear helmets that do little in the grand scheme of things? (well yes but let’s not go there) Would we ban peanuts entirely? Would we make it illegal to ride horses as they are the most dangerous animals in the country?

#4
HiddenDragon11:28 am, 07 Mar 14

I don’t like the imposed lottery of very strict tree protection laws as they apply to trees on private land. The glib “stuff happens” philosophising which comes out, on cue, and at length, whenever anyone dares to question these laws, just does not cut it with me. I tend to assume that some, if not all, of the people who take that position think big trees are a good idea when they loom over other people’s homes, but not theirs (i.e. they’ve never had such trees near their home /apartment /townhouse or took steps to remove them before the tree protection laws came into force).

All of that said, I am somewhat more philosophical about the risks from trees in public spaces – although I think we’ve had at least one fatality, in recent years, from a tree branch falling on a man on a suburban street.

#5
thatsnotme12:21 pm, 07 Mar 14

A seven year old boy was killed by a falling tree branch at Brindabella Christian College in 2001 as well.

Reports from the similar death in Sydney recently point out that there was no sign that the branch was going to fall – the tree appeared healthy, the exterior looked fine, but a branch still came down. That tree wouldn’t have been removed or cut back due to being identified as dangerous, because nothing indicated that it was.

I’ve experienced a similar near-miss at home. Friends who were over a few years back, during a very windy night, were just leaving. We were saying goodbye to them on our front porch, when a tree across the road came down. It pretty much landed where our friends car would have been while reversing out of our driveway. Luckily, they weren’t doing that – 30 seconds later, they probably would have been. There was absolutely nothing to indicate that tree was going to come down either.

I guess the point is that near misses happen all the time, and you never hear about them – because everything ends up ok. I’ve had many, many more near misses on the road than I ever have from trees, but I still drive every day.

I question the point that dangerous trees can’t be removed though? I’ve seen plenty of large eucalypts cut down over time. I wonder whether the real issue is that people perceive a tree as dangerous, just because it’s near them, and don’t accept it when experts decide that a tree is healthy and not actually dangerous?

The reaction from the tradies and others, to pitch in and get things sorted out themselves, is just brilliant though. Good work to everyone involved!

#6
Nylex_Clock1:00 pm, 07 Mar 14

What about meteorites? They fall down sometimes too. What is the government *doing* about them?

And hailstones! Some fo them are really big and really dangerous – the government should *do* something about hailstones.

And lightning! How unsafe is that? Instead of allowed uncontrolled multi-million-volt discharges into populated suburbs without warning, the government should *do* something about lightning.

I am amazed about your story of a bunch of humans pulling together to clean up the road. If it was me, I would have stood idle, gawking, wringing my hands and demanding that the government *do* somthing about the mess.

#7
dungfungus1:10 pm, 07 Mar 14

Well, this really means that everyone travelling on the CapMetro Eclectic Tram (some time in the future) up the Northbourne Avenue transit strip will have to wear helmets.
Then again, if the helmets save them from a falling branch they will be electrocuted from the falling overhead wires or if they survive that they will be cremated by the residual fire.
I hope there is insurance available.

#8
Roundhead893:21 pm, 07 Mar 14

The kid who was killed by the falling branch wasn’t in Qld. It happened in Pitt Town, which is a dormitory suburb in Sydney’s north west near Richmond and Windsor.

#9
Spiral5:17 pm, 07 Mar 14

Gum trees seem to be the sharks of the land. They lurk beside the road and then suddenly attack without warning or reason. Can’t we just get the Western Australian government to identify which ones are dangerous, cull them, and throw the rest back?

#10
gooterz9:08 pm, 07 Mar 14

Soil liquidification is the one you have to watch out for.

and drop bears

#11
Primal9:54 am, 08 Mar 14

Haven’t they just announced and tagged a whole pile of roadside trees for removal?

I’ve seen a few with A4 notices stuck to them in the past few days.

#12
Queen_of_the_Bun2:58 pm, 08 Mar 14

Nylex_Clock said :

What about meteorites? They fall down sometimes too. What is the government *doing* about them?

And hailstones! Some fo them are really big and really dangerous – the government should *do* something about hailstones.

And lightning! How unsafe is that? Instead of allowed uncontrolled multi-million-volt discharges into populated suburbs without warning, the government should *do* something about lightning.

I am amazed about your story of a bunch of humans pulling together to clean up the road. If it was me, I would have stood idle, gawking, wringing my hands and demanding that the government *do* somthing about the mess.

+1

Only mystery is that this is RiotAct and no-one’s expressed disappointment that the cyclist wasn’t to blame.
Yet.

#13
enrique8:59 pm, 08 Mar 14

I’ve also heard that lightening is pretty dodgy and kills people. Let’s ban that $h!t as well. Hmm, no, let’s install a massive faraday cage around Canberra so we’ll be safe forevermore.

#14
troll-sniffer11:07 am, 09 Mar 14

enrique said :

I’ve also heard that lightening is pretty dodgy and kills people. Let’s ban that $h!t as well. Hmm, no, let’s install a massive faraday cage around Canberra so we’ll be safe forevermore.

Are you saying the lightening cream killed Michael Jackson?

#15
dungfungus6:59 pm, 10 Mar 14

A whole eucalyptus tree in a front yard in Bugden Avenue Fadden fell without warning in calm weather conditions this afternoon.
It blocked the roadway completely and crushed a car belonging to one of the residents.
Time to start wearing the tin hat again – too much of this sort of thing happening.
Someone please suggest climate change is the cause?

#16
bundah10:43 pm, 10 Mar 14

dungfungus said :

A whole eucalyptus tree in a front yard in Bugden Avenue Fadden fell without warning in calm weather conditions this afternoon.
It blocked the roadway completely and crushed a car belonging to one of the residents.
Time to start wearing the tin hat again – too much of this sort of thing happening.
Someone please suggest climate change is the cause?

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest it was struck by Andrew Bolt lightning….

#17
dungfungus8:43 am, 11 Mar 14

bundah said :

dungfungus said :

A whole eucalyptus tree in a front yard in Bugden Avenue Fadden fell without warning in calm weather conditions this afternoon.
It blocked the roadway completely and crushed a car belonging to one of the residents.
Time to start wearing the tin hat again – too much of this sort of thing happening.
Someone please suggest climate change is the cause?

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest it was struck by Andrew Bolt lightning….

I did say the weather was calm – no lightning or that other stuff referred to on this thread called “lightening” was involved .

#18
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:36 am, 11 Mar 14

dungfungus said :

bundah said :

dungfungus said :

A whole eucalyptus tree in a front yard in Bugden Avenue Fadden fell without warning in calm weather conditions this afternoon.
It blocked the roadway completely and crushed a car belonging to one of the residents.
Time to start wearing the tin hat again – too much of this sort of thing happening.
Someone please suggest climate change is the cause?

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest it was struck by Andrew Bolt lightning….

I did say the weather was calm – no lightning or that other stuff referred to on this thread called “lightening” was involved .

Do your self a favour and research Australian eucalypts…

#19
dungfungus12:39 pm, 11 Mar 14

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

dungfungus said :

bundah said :

dungfungus said :

A whole eucalyptus tree in a front yard in Bugden Avenue Fadden fell without warning in calm weather conditions this afternoon.
It blocked the roadway completely and crushed a car belonging to one of the residents.
Time to start wearing the tin hat again – too much of this sort of thing happening.
Someone please suggest climate change is the cause?

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest it was struck by Andrew Bolt lightning….

I did say the weather was calm – no lightning or that other stuff referred to on this thread called “lightening” was involved .

Do your self a favour and research Australian eucalypts…

Damn! I was hoping that car that was crushed was yours and the owner was in it at the time.

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