‘I could’ve been killed’ - Weather brings down 400-year-old oak ‘inches’ from woman’s window

Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it "bleeds". Photo: Sarah Burgess

Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it "bleeds". Photo: Sarah Burgess - Credit: Archant

A 400-year-old protected oak tree lashed by winds fell within “inches” of a woman’s bedroom, destroying her garden and damaging a neighbour’s roof.

Before and after - Brenda Krause's garden before horrendous weather brought down an oak tree and des

Before and after - Brenda Krause's garden before horrendous weather brought down an oak tree and destroyed it. Credit: Brenda Krause/ Sarah Burgess - Credit: Brenda Krausse/ Sarah Burgess

A 400-year-old protected oak tree lashed by winds fell within “inches” of a woman’s bedroom, destroying her garden and damaging a neighbour’s roof.

Brenda Krause, 82, who has lived along Back Lane in Rollesby for six years, said she was lying in bed when she heard an “almighty crack” at around 5.40pm on Friday, just one minute after her carer had come through her back door.

“My carer, Sue Bensly, usually comes between 5.30 and 6pm. If she’d been a minute earlier - she would be dead. The tree would have flattened her,” Ms Krause said.

“I absolutely loved that tree. It was a huge oak at the end of my garden, full of birds and acorns. It seemed so solid - and could probably get about three people standing with their arms stretched around the trunk.

Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it "bleeds". Photo: Sarah Burgess

Neighbour Andrea Thompson stands next to the fallen tree as it "bleeds". Photo: Sarah Burgess - Credit: Archant

“When I first heard the crack, I thought it was my wooden arch in the garden where I kept my bird feeders. I’d noticed it swaying all afternoon.

“Everything happened so quick. I called my neighbours, Andrea and Alan Thompson. They told me it wasn’t the arch - it was much worse.

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“The entire tree had come down - and was inches from my bedroom window.

“Both myself and Sue were really shaken. It dawned on us that she could have been killed and so could I - if it had just landed a little further or fallen a little earlier.”

Brenda Krause, 82, sits in her wheelchair by her back door after a fallen oak tree destroyed her gar

Brenda Krause, 82, sits in her wheelchair by her back door after a fallen oak tree destroyed her garden. She said she was heartbroken because she "loved that tree". Photo: Sarah Burgess - Credit: Archant

The oak tree, which stood about 12 metres high, was subject to a protection order.

Ms Krause’s neighbour, Mrs Thompson, said: “All the oak trees round here are - but nobody ever comes out and checks them.

“You can see the rot and funghi at the bottom of them. If that had been treated, this tree might have been saved.”

The tree was removed by tree surgeons on Wednesday - five days after extreme weather struck it down.

The tree fell "within inches" of Mrs Krause's bedroom window. Photo: Sarah Burgess

The tree fell "within inches" of Mrs Krause's bedroom window. Photo: Sarah Burgess - Credit: Archant

But Ms Krause says she wants the trunk “salvaged” so she can remember its former glory.

“That tree was so beautiful, and so was my garden”, she said.

“Just think of everything it’s seen in all that time it’s been here.

“Wildlife is always the victim of these horrendous weather events. It’s heartbreaking.”

The tree fell "within inches" of the bedroom window. Photo: Sarah Burgess

The tree fell "within inches" of the bedroom window. Photo: Sarah Burgess - Credit: Archant

The snapped tree. Photo: Sarah Burgess

The snapped tree. Photo: Sarah Burgess - Credit: Archant

Maple Tree Surgeons, hired by Mrs Krause's landlord, came to clear the tree and fix the damage cause

Maple Tree Surgeons, hired by Mrs Krause's landlord, came to clear the tree and fix the damage caused in the storm. Photo: Andrea Thompson - Credit: Archant

Workmen fixing the damage sustained to a neighbour's house. Photo: Andrea Thompson

Workmen fixing the damage sustained to a neighbour's house. Photo: Andrea Thompson - Credit: Archant

Maple Tree Surgeons, hired by Ms Krause's landlord, came to clear the tree and fix the damage caused

Maple Tree Surgeons, hired by Ms Krause's landlord, came to clear the tree and fix the damage caused in the storm. Both Ms Krausse and her neighbour Andrea Thompson said if all trees in the area were as dangerous as this one, the council needs to inspect them immediately. Photo: Andrea Thompson - Credit: Archant