'I want to feel safe.' Troubleshooter helps homeowner with concerns over tree on city property

Diane Wilson Image
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Homeowners have safety concerns over tree on Durham city property
A big tree on the City of Durham property caused some safety concerns for residents that live beside that tree.

A big tree on the City of Durham property caused some safety concerns for homeowners that live beside that tree.

"I want to feel safe. I just want to feel safe," said Janet Allen a long-time homeowner in Durham. Allen has a house that sits right next to the tree.

"If we are in the house sleeping and boom we're gone. Not only would our house be destroyed, our lives will be destroyed because if that tree falls it will kill us," Allen tells ABC11.

The tree sits right in the middle of Allen's property and her neighbor, property which is owned by the City of Durham. Allen says she is constantly picking up dead limbs from the tree.

"I have records. I keep records of complaints that I made about the tree so I don't understand why they don't want to do anything about it."

On behalf of Allen and her neighbor, ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson contacted the City of Durham who said they have responded to several requests to remove the tree.

They said each inspection of the tree over the past decade shows it's healthy and continues to be so. However, due to the tree's size, shedding needles, pine cones and level of discomfort, the city says all parties agreed that the tree will be removed.

It took six months for the city to go through the proper approval process, including getting Durham City Council to sign off and it finally happened--the tree was removed.

Allen and her neighbor are relieved and feel safer.

"It gives me a great amount of relief to know a big tree will not fall on my neighbor's house and it's not going to fall on my house," Allen said.

Now the only job left is to grind and remove this stump which the city says they will do as soon as it's contracted out.

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