Section of 250-year-old Zelkova falls on Suffolk homes

Part of a "nationally significant" street tree in Suffolk fell onto neighbouring properties earlier this week, causing structural damage but no injuries.

The Worlingham Elm in 2010 - image: Adrian S Pye
The Worlingham Elm in 2010 - image: Adrian S Pye

The 30m-tall Worlingham Elm, a Caucasian elm (Zelkova carpinifolia) thought to have been planted in 1760, struck three homes in the village, leaving one structurally unsafe, and also damaged two vehicles in the early hours of Tuesday, 5 May.

Suffolk County Council owns the tree and its highways manager Derek Oldham said visual inspections in February 2015 and in January 2014 showed no outward signs of damage.

He told the BBC that the council had installed a root barrier to stop root infiltration to other homes, but added: "The side of the tree that is collapsed is not on the side where the root barrier is and there's no obvious sign of movement within the ground."

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