Man upset after what city crews did to his tree

February 11, 2011 5:22:45 PM PST
A homeowner in Woodland Heights is upset by what city workers did to a tree outside his home. He first called us to complain that city crews mistakenly cut down part of his tree. But we found out a different story, after we started asking questions. This wasn't just any tree. The homeowner purchased the pricy Bald Cypress well over a decade ago and has nurtured it to its towering height. But after putting in a request to take down a hazardous tree across the street, he's worried his might not make it through the winter.

Residents in the Woodland Heights have been complaining about a tree tangled in power lines.

"We've been calling on this tree that is leaning on this power line and endangering folks for over six months," said Woodland Heights resident Ken Lindow

"I called them and told them to come and cut the tree because the wire is hitting the tree," added Woodland Heights Residents Mario Gomez.

After months of calling, a city tree trimming crew showed up Thursday on Morrison Street.

"I came out around noon to the sound of chainsaws," said Lindow.

But when they arrived, they also focused on Lindow's weeping Bald Cypress. He paid $400 for it more than 15 years ago.

"I call it butchered," said Lindow.

Now he's not sure it will survive the winter. But city foresters ask residents to remember that a tree planted in the right of way becomes the responsibility of the city and because it was cascading down to the sidewalk and street, they were tasked with trimming it up to the city regulation of 14 feet.

"People use sidewalks. We gotta clear our sidewalks," said Forester Victor Cordova. "People use streets, obviously, and we have to clear the street to maintain the roadway for traffic and maintain the sidewalk for pedestrians."

Lindow says he still doesn't understand how it was trimmed when there was never a complaint.

"They cost me lots of property appeal and they did significant damage to my tree," he said. "And it might die."

Cordova says they were just being proactive when they inspected the dangerous tree across the street, which is now slated for removal next week.