A MOUNT Pleasant man was just minutes away from serious injury or worse when a large tree branch crashed through his front fence this morning.
Strong winds caused a 20 metre gum tree to drop a large limb over Henry Hayes' fence and onto his beloved 1962 EJ Holden wagon, parked in his driveway.
Mr Hayes said he had spent more than 20 years and thousands of dollars painstakingly restoring the vehicle back to it's former glory.
He had only just finished the restoration when this morning's wind gust came through.
"It was pretty much immaculate," he said of his beloved vehicle.
"It was my only car - a lot of people around Ballarat would know it."
Mr Hayes said he had pulled up in his driveway minutes before the tree branch came down.
"I had just gone through the house...then I heard a strange noise (when the tree fell)," he said.
"The damage isn't too bad, there's a dent in the roof, a dent in the door and a few scratches."
"I'm just thankful nobody was hurt."
Mr Hayes said he had got out of the vehicle just minutes before the branch came down.
"I was lucky it didn't come down on me," he said.
The tree, which grew out of a nature strip at the front of Mr Hayes' property, was seeping sap for some time.
Mr Hayes said he called the City of Ballarat about an arborist inspection of the tree two years ago, but received no response.
"It has looked dodgy for ages," he said.
"The house is 150 years old - who knows how old the tree is."