Two-tonne tree limb falls on vehicle in Darwin CBD

Published: October 7, 2021

Most grey nomads know to be very wary about parking underneath gum trees, but they are certainly not the only species to be cautious around … particularly in Darwin.

A giant African mahogany tree has dropped a two-tonne limb on a rental van parked in the NT capital’s CBD. Luckily, the van was unoccupied at the time but the huge branch smashed the driver’s window and broke a wing mirror.

The NT news reports that African mahoganies were planted at an almost industrial scale after Cyclone Tracy as part of the city’s regeneration. While they are fast growing and provide plenty of shade, their relatively shallow root system means they are prone uprooting during serious weather events, and they can also drop limbs without warning.

In 2014 a man died after the branch of an African mahogany fell at Gardens Park Golf Links. In 2006 a nine-year-old boy died after being struck by a falling branch while at school.

The council has not planted any new African mahoganies since 1996.

City of Darwin engineering and city services general manager, Dr Emma Young told the NT News that trees were subject to six-monthly inspections, routine maintenance and pruning.

“Any tree, including African mahoganies, at times drop limbs,” she said. “We have regular inspections, including this tree, done by highly qualified arborists based on tree assessments.

Dr Young said the focus was to make sure high-use areas like schools, golf courses and high-risk parks were inspected.

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3 months ago

My 1st lesson in ‘limb drop’ happened some years back when we were camping at Echuca, while we were sitting by our tent a huge limb fell from a large gum tree and flattened several cars in the car park (luckly knowone was hurt). Before that incident we had been camping under trees trying to keep cool as it was very hot: Lesson learned

3 months ago

In July this year we were in a caravan park in Perth, large trees over every site. One very windy night a large limb came down. Luckily the site had been vacated that day, a lucky miss.

Stewart Gruneklee
3 months ago

Several years ago, I pulled into a parking spot in West Wyalong and as I got out of the car a large limb dropped off an adjacent gum tree and landed across the car bonnet and knocked me sideways. The only damage was pride and a dented bonnet.

3 months ago

Sorry but this is a long term, well learnt, fact of nature, Trees throw their limbs!
Please don’t set up camp UNDER any tree.
If you want shade just camp a few metres away and enjoy the shade from either morning or afternoon sun but don’t sit UNDER the tree’s ‘death of Mid-Day shade’ area.


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