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‘I could’ve been killed’ - Weather brings down 400-year-old oak ‘inches’ from woman’s window

PUBLISHED: 13:41 30 September 2020 | UPDATED: 22:31 01 October 2020

Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it

Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it "bleeds". Photo: Sarah Burgess

Archant

A 400-year-old protected oak tree lashed by winds fell within “inches” of a woman’s bedroom, destroying her garden and damaging a neighbour’s roof.

Before and after - Brenda Krause's garden before horrendous weather brought down an oak tree and destroyed it. Credit: Brenda Krause/ Sarah BurgessBefore and after - Brenda Krause's garden before horrendous weather brought down an oak tree and destroyed it. Credit: Brenda Krause/ Sarah Burgess

A 400-year-old protected oak tree lashed by winds fell within “inches” of a woman’s bedroom, destroying her garden and damaging a neighbour’s roof.

Brenda Krause, 82, who has lived along Back Lane in Rollesby for six years, said she was lying in bed when she heard an “almighty crack” at around 5.40pm on Friday, just one minute after her carer had come through her back door.

“My carer, Sue Bensly, usually comes between 5.30 and 6pm. If she’d been a minute earlier - she would be dead. The tree would have flattened her,” Ms Krause said.

“I absolutely loved that tree. It was a huge oak at the end of my garden, full of birds and acorns. It seemed so solid - and could probably get about three people standing with their arms stretched around the trunk.

Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it "bleeds". Photo: Sarah Burgess

“When I first heard the crack, I thought it was my wooden arch in the garden where I kept my bird feeders. I’d noticed it swaying all afternoon.

“Everything happened so quick. I called my neighbours, Andrea and Alan Thompson. They told me it wasn’t the arch - it was much worse.

“The entire tree had come down - and was inches from my bedroom window.

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“Both myself and Sue were really shaken. It dawned on us that she could have been killed and so could I - if it had just landed a little further or fallen a little earlier.”

The oak tree, which stood about 12 metres high, was subject to a protection order.

Ms Krause’s neighbour, Mrs Thompson, said: “All the oak trees round here are - but nobody ever comes out and checks them.

“You can see the rot and funghi at the bottom of them. If that had been treated, this tree might have been saved.”

The tree fell The tree fell "within inches" of Mrs Krause's bedroom window. Photo: Sarah Burgess

The tree was removed by tree surgeons on Wednesday - five days after extreme weather struck it down.

But Ms Krause says she wants the trunk “salvaged” so she can remember its former glory.

“That tree was so beautiful, and so was my garden”, she said.

“Just think of everything it’s seen in all that time it’s been here.

The tree fell The tree fell "within inches" of the bedroom window. Photo: Sarah Burgess

“Wildlife is always the victim of these horrendous weather events. It’s heartbreaking.”


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