Parked car damaged when large branch falls off tree

By Mary Dennehy

A CALL has been made for South Dublin County Council to change its tree management policy after a car was reportedly damaged when a large branch fell off a tree in Rathfarnham.

According to councillor and Deputy County Mayor David McManus, the vehicle was parked on a public road near trees that are “twice the height of nearby family homes” when a branch fell onto the roof of a car, smashing the rear window.

Rathfarnham car tree 1 compressor

The branch fell on the car damaging the back of it

“In this instance, I am relieved that no one was seriously injured or even killed by this enormous dangerous tree”, councillor McManus said in a statement released.

“This car will cost thousands of euros to be repaired – a cost that could have been avoided if this tree was maintained.

“The areas of Rathfarnham and Templeogue that I represent have massive trees that are unsuitable to the area.

“Residents are contacting me every week as these trees grow to exceptional heights and have deep roots that can create trip hazards on public footpaths and disrupt underground utilities.”

He added: “I believe council policy is too rigid and needs to be more flexible to ensure dangerous trees are addressed.”

When contacted by The Echo about tree maintenance, South Dublin County Council said that in 2019 some 14,537 trees were inspected, 3,258 trees pruned, 990 trees removed and 2,000 trees planted.

A spokesperson for the council said: “It is the council’s intention to continue to develop a pro-active and systematic good practice approach to tree management and inspection with the aim of promoting good tree health, condition and diversity.

“The council’s Tree Management Policy – Living with Trees was adopted in 2015 to guide the management and maintenance of trees in public ownership across the county in accordance with contemporary best practice to ensure a healthy and sustainable tree population for current and future generations.”

South Dublin County has an estimated population of around 60,000 street trees, in addition to areas of trees and woodland within parks and open spaces.

“A proactive regime of inspection, maintenance and renewal is in operation to ensure their benefits are guaranteed for years to come”, the council said.

Concerns around the size of mature trees across the county, including areas such as Rathfarnham, Templeogue and Knocklyon, have been raised in council chambers before.

According to the council: “In 2014, the council began recording tree surveys on a Tree Management System and to date over 28,000 tree surveys have been recorded.

“The 2020 – 2022 Tree maintenance Programme for Rathfarnham, Templeogue, Firhouse and Bohernabreena was presented to the Area Committee and is available on the council’s website.”

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