THE tree branch that fell onto a cherry picker stopped at traffic lights in Skipton Street had been earmarked for maintenance the City of Ballarat has revealed.
The tree which stood near the corner of Skipton and Leith streets, was this morning removed after it crashed onto a truck, ironically a cherry picker, which had stopped at the lights just before 2.30pm on Wednesday.
A branch weighing, what is believed to have been between four and five tonnes, crashed onto the cherry picker with police at the scene saying it was a miracle that it wasn't a car parked under it at the time, as it could have been "much worse".
Both police and the truck driver, Bob Williamson told The Courier at the scene the tree looked "hollowed out" when they investigated how it had fallen.
In a statement this afternoon, the City of Ballarat confirmed the tree had been earmarked for removal.
"The tree in question was scheduled to have works completed in the near future however the prevailing wind conditions yesterday resulted in the limb failure prior to these works being conducted," it said.
The council did not answer questions about how many other trees along Skipton Street had been tested and earmarked for removal or maintenance, nor did it answer a question asking how long the tree had been waiting for works to be completed."
Mr Williamson said he knew straight away what had happened.
"It came down with an almighty crash," he said. "I've just had $15,000 work completed on the boom of the truck. I just hope there's not too much damage."
The council said its arborists routinely inspect trees in accordance with its Tree Management Plan.
"When works are identified during these inspections, these are scheduled to be completed by qualified Council staff or contractors depending on the nature of the work," it said.
"When a tree removal is deemed necessary, it is usually appropriate to replace the tree with a similar species. This is however not always the case and a more suitable species may be planted or the area left vacant."
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