Tree crashes into Belsize house after gale force winds strike

A large tree was uprooted from the ground and crashed into a Belsize Park home after gale force winds struck north London.

Shocked residents watched as tree surgeons and council workers tried to secure the Sycamore as it balanced precariously against the glass windows of an upstairs flat in the house in Aspern Grove.

Ron Vester, who lives in a flat less than 50ft away, said: “The tree is huge and it is resting right on the window. It could have just given in at any time. It is lucky nobody was hurt.

“I was worried about the neighbour’s cats, they often sit under the tree and they could have been flattened. But luckily they were okay.”

Emergency tree surgeons were called to the stricken flat soon after the tree toppled on Monday afternoon (September 12) and they hacked the branches back to lessen the load pressing against the window.

Residents living inside were told to stay out of the bedroom where the tree had struck and sleep elsewhere in the flat, in case the tree fell in on it further.

A crane eventually hauled the heavy Sycamore off the house a day later and sent it away to be disposed of.

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“They came with a massive crane and sawed right through the base of the tree and pulled it up by the roots,” said Mr Vester.

“It was quite a sight – it ripped off some of the roof tiles. It was pretty incredible.”

Fierce winds from the tail-end of Hurricane Katia, which hit New York last month, have battered much of the UK.

The severe weather conditions have sparked fears that other trees could have been weakened by the pummelling.

However no other trees are thought to have been uprooted because of the bad weather.

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: “A council spokeswoman said: “Due to the nature age of the tree in Aspern Grove we had been monitoring it closely, but yesterday’s severe weather caused damage so we removed it.

“Our contractor recycles all trees that we remove. We inspect all our trees regularly.”

In an unrelated incident reported in the Ham&High last week, a 50-year-old tree was felled in Church Row, Hampstead, after a lorry smash into it knocking it to the ground.