A ROTTEN tree which collapsed over a road this morning, cutting off part of a village, has been chainsawed into pieces.

Residents of about 20 houses were unable to drive in or out of North Hinksey Village after the huge horse chestnut tree fell at about 5am.

Some said they were awoken by the tree falling from the village green. One said it sounded 'like someone tipping a great load of gravel’, while another said it sounded as if their ‘ceiling was coming in’.

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The tree fell a short walk away from popular pub The Fishes. 

The fallen tree also meant people were unable to get to Oxford Rugby Club or Oxford Sports Lawn Tennis Club by road, which are based at the bottom of the village.

It is understood the tennis club was planning an open day today.

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The base of the tree, which fell over this morning

Chris Sugden, who lives in the village, said he had called the emergency services at 7.25am. At about 9.30am, a BT Openreach engineer had arrived to fix a snapped telephone wire which had been brought down by the tree.

A county council engineer arrived shortly afterwards, but said another expert had to be called in from Faringdon to help later this morning.

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By about 1pm, much of the foliage of the tree had been cut away. Workmen continue to work to cut it into smaller pieces.

Dr Sugden said he thought the council had taken too long to respond.

He added: "It's three and a half hours [after they were informed]. There has been a lot of disruption. People are having to go around it for the tennis club's open day; a nurse couldn't get to the hospital (for work). 

"I think they should be been here quicker." 

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A rentable mobike which was standing inches from where the tree fell and remarkably survived unscathed.

North Hinksey Parish Council chairman David Kay, who was on site from 8am helping to minimise the disruption, said the road had been fully reopened at 2pm, and the remains of the tree piled on the village green waiting to be removed.

He also revealed that the tree surgeons had discovered a canker high up on the trunk suggesting the entire body of the tree was infected with fungus which, combined with the recent drought, had most likely killed it off.

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He said villagers were saddened by the loss of a much-loved tree, and there was already talk of planting a replacement.

Mr Kay, who took this photos of the tree being cut up and the remains on the village green, also thanked managers at the Fishes pub who had let visitors to the tennis and rugby clubs use its car park while the tree was being cleared.

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