An additional inspection of trees at Murwillumbah’s Knox Park adventure playground will be undertaken by Council this week, after a tree fell at the site last weekend.
“Council’s arborist conducts regular audits of the site, including fortnightly inspections, because of the close proximity of trees to play equipment,” Council’s Manager Recreation Services, Stewart Brawley, said.
“However, an additional detailed audit will be done this week because there was some evidence of previous termite damage which could have contributed to decay in the fallen tree.”
The playground’s location amid many large established trees, planted as part of a Peace Walk in Knox Park, is a key feature of the playground’s design and this shady and natural setting has been one of the most popular features among members of the public.
“It was integral to providing essential shade but also to create an inviting and sensory-rich location for the adventure playground,” Mr Brawley said.
“Council was also conscious of safety at the site and its arborist inspected all the trees retained as part of the playground development.
“Our arborist undertakes a fortnightly inspection, checking for any decline in the trees, die back of branches and any works that need to be carried out.”
He said the termite damage and subsequent decay would not have been evident from a visual inspection and could have only been confirmed by a sonic tomograph test, which uses sound waves to determine a tree’s internal structural integrity.
“If this week’s audit finds any evidence that requires further examination, a consultant could be engaged to complete sonic tomograph testing,” he said.
Council received reports on Saturday that the tree had fallen, with no reports of anyone injured during the incident.
Council Parks and Gardens staff responded quickly to remove the tree, to ensure public safety.
“All care is taken when tree inspections are carried out but we are dealing with a living organism exposed to natural forces,” Mr Brawley said.
The adventure playground was officially opened last November, as part of a new $1.2 million Youth Precinct at Knox Park.
“The playground has been extremely well patronised since its opening and the shady and scenic setting has been a leading reason for its popularity,” he said.