Massive paperbark tree blocks Limekilns Road, Tea Gardens

The massive paperbark fell right across Limekilns Road at Tea Gardens.

AN ENORMOUS old paperbark tree met its demise on Tuesday 9 April just after 5pm, blocking the only road out to Limekilns, Tea Gardens, and requiring heavy machinery to safely remove.

Eyewitness accounts and photographic evidence show that the paperbark had, in fact, become completely hollow up its main trunk, suggesting that its structural integrity had been severely compromised, and recent heavy, waterlogging rains may have spelt the ultimate arboreal expiration.

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Within 20 minutes of the tree’s collapse, local Police, Council and even Fisheries workers were on the scene, erecting barricades and redirecting traffic.

“Council and Police did a really good job marking out the scene so no-one would come crashing into the fallen tree,” said NOTA’s own esteemed columnist John Blackbourn, who heard the deafening crash as the tree came down.

“The fall was remarkably user-friendly, as, despite blocking Limekilns Road, there was a dirt access turnout that traffic could use, and it managed to miss residential power lines by only a couple of metres,” John said.

“The pity of it all is that this tree was the nesting place for a kookaburra family, which had produced three lots of hatchlings in the last three years alone.

“Life at Tea Gardens is a tad more exciting than I expected before we came here to retire, however, we are a lot better off than the rest of the state, which received major damage to homes and infrastructure.”

By the week’s end, the main body of the fallen paperbark had been removed, and Limekilns Road cleared for regular traffic.

The remaining stump, still in place, shows very clear evidence of the hollowed-out nature of the tree as a whole, suggesting that similarly large trees be checked for structural integrity, especially after the recent rains.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

What’s left of the stump indicates some severe internal hollowing out.

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