UPDATE: Jacaranda tree removed from festival precinct
UPDATE, 4.45PM: Police have not been able to confirm or deny that a fallen jacaranda tree in Pound St was the result of an earlier car crash.
Earlier today Clarence Valley Council released a statement about the removal of the tree, stating it had "snapped at the base after being hit by a car over the weekend". However, police had no reports of a crash.
"We have no report of any car crash in that location," a spokesperson from Coffs Clarence Local Area Command said.
One resident, Kathleen Porteous, claimed to have witnessed the tree falling and was quick to criticise the reporting of this article on The Daily Examiner Facebook page.
"Seriously DEX - get your facts straight!" Porteous typed. "There was no 'car crash' to the tree. How do i know?? I was sitting in a taxi 10 feet from it when it fell!"
There are no reports of injury as a result of the fallen tree.
The Daily Examiner will continue to investigate what caused the tree to snap.
ORIGINAL STORY: A prominent jacaranda tree was swiftly removed in Grafton today after it was snapped at the base by a car crash.
The tree was the closest in a row of jacarandas lining the northern side of Pound St to the clocktower roundabout. Its removal has, for the time being, created a notable void in the iconic, jacaranda-rich Market Square precinct which plays host to many of the major events of the annual Jacaranda Festival.
Clarence Valley Council works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said the tree snapped at the base after being hit by a car over the weekend.
"We had to send in a crew to clean it up," Mr Anderson said.
"We've barricaded it off to make sure everything's safe and will look at a replacement soon."
Tree removal has been a subject of conjecture in Grafton recently and nearby resident Les Weiley, who was not aware of the earlier crash, was concerned at the time about the tree's removal.
"We should be trying to increase the number of jacarandas in the area and hopefully council has plans to replant it," Mr Weiley said.
A Clarence Valley Council spokesperson said removed jacarandas in Grafton were usually replaced by other jacarandas.
"We do get rid of quite a few because they get notoriously dangerous as they get older," the spokesperson said.
"We replace all that do come out."
There are no confirmed reports of injury.