Popular tree in Head Lake Park comes down following windstorm

By Jenn Watt

May 10 2018

The willow tree that grew over Haliburton's Head Lake Park bridge used by young people for years as a jumping off point or to swing from was removed on Wednesday.

A large part of the tree had snapped and was dangling over the river and bridge following a storm on the weekend.

“We were hoping to get more qualified advice in terms of the strength and health of the remaining portion of the tree to know whether or not it had to come out” said Tamara Wilbee Dysart et al chief administrative officer on May 9.

When the arborists from ArborView Tree Care did their evaluation they found it was unsafe.

“I sent two qualified ISA certified arborists to the site to assess the damage” said ArborView owner Josh Burk. “The one tree had a broken-off top … and was hanging precariously overtop of the bridge area. That was an obvious removal. To mitigate that risk you would just get rid of the top but the tree itself was partially uprooted so it was really compromised.”

He said the wind coupled with saturated soil caused the issue.

Although the willow appeared to be two trees both trunks were growing out of one root ball.

“Obviously its mate the one that was attached it also was partially uprooted. So there was no trying to fix it” Burk said.

With so many children regularly using the tree and so many users of the park in general no one was comfortable with leaving the tree in case it fell on people swimming or walking along the river.

The willow as it looked in 2012. /File photo by Angelica Ingram Haliburton Echo