Lightning ‘smashes to bits’ 150-year-old tree in Crawley church yard

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A 150-year-old oak tree has been struck by a bolt of lightning.

The 70ft tree in Our Lady Queen Of Heaven R C Church’s grounds in Stagelands, Langley Green, was hit at 3.10pm yesterday (Tuesday May 19).

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Jamie Hearsden, of Coney Close, Langley Green, sent this photo and said: “It [the bolt] was about less than 30cm from taking the front of our house off.

“It was an explosion in the area.

“My wife and I were out and when we got back our neighbours were all making sure we were okay, they all rushed out.”

Some 20 neighbours waited outside Jamie’s home after the tree, which hung over his front garden, was hit.

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All Seasons Tree Surgeons, Charlwood, started removing the tree at 7.30am today.

The electricity cracked its trunk from top to bottom and sent its branches flying.

Tree Surgeon Lee Saunders, 44, of Charlwood, said: “The lightning smashed it to bits - it cracked it right the way down.

“We had to use a cherry picker to take it down bit by bit.

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“It was about 150-years-old, it’s very sad really.”

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