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Call on school to cut down dangerous tree over fears that it ‘could kill’

The tree limb that landed in the garden of Harry Lockwood and (below) Orchard Head Junior and Infants.
The tree limb that landed in the garden of Harry Lockwood and (below) Orchard Head Junior and Infants.

A resident has called on a school to cut down a “dangerous” ash tree that overhangs his garden “before somebody gets killed”.

The 30ft-high tree is in the grounds of Orchard Head Junior and Infants School in Pontefract but overhangs into Harry Lockwood’s back garden.

He says an independent tree surgeon told him the tree is suffering from the phenomena called summer branch drop, where limbs of the tree become too heavy and break off.

During recent high winds a huge section came crashing into his back garden on Orchard Head Drive, narrowly missing his shed and summer house. And he says the school is ignoring repeated requests to address the problem.

The 65-year-old said: “The limb that came down was massive, it could potentially have been fatal.

“It is 15ft long and about eight inches thick.

“The school has a duty of care, but no matter what we have told them it’s been fobbed off.

“We’ve even had Wakefield Council involved and the school still hasn’t done anything about it.

“They have children running around and if another limb was to come down like the one in my garden, somebody could get killed.

“How many more high winds we will need before they do something about it?

“I used to let my grandchildren run around my garden but my daughter won’t let her children out there now because of this. It’s restricting the use of my garden.”

In response, Pontefract Academies Trust, which runs the school sent an email to the Express which read: “The school takes the management of it’s trees seriously and as such appoints an external tree professional to periodically risk assess all the trees on its land.

“The latest risk assessment was undertaken in May 2018 and concluded that the school did not need to take any action in respect of the trees in question.

“In light of recent events following high winds, the school has appointed a second independent external tree professional to re-assess the trees.

“The school will swiftly act on any recommendations made.”