Letter to the Editor

Not pleased with current position of large, old tree

Sunday, April 26, 2009

To the Editor:

My problem is similar to (the writer of) "five dead trees."

The time frame is much longer, around 17 years.

A large tree was struck by lightning on a farmer's property years ago adjacent to my property, making it a dangerous threat.

The owners of this tree stood next to it many times looking out at their fields giving me hope the tree would soon be gone.

In recent years, the black tree color had left, leaving dead yellow wood both below the ground and inside the trunk many feet up.

A crack in the bark below the surface turned upward out of sight. The tree has been left in this condition many years before homes were an option.

My job in the next time frame was spraying for termites and giant black ants, and picking up fallen limbs.

I had this tree and another topped twice in hopes of preventing extra weight and falling trees.

Finally, came the talk of an underground water system and a lot of trees were removed. I approached the surveyor's son, who agreed the tree would be gone the next day. He even talked of water gradients and soil erosion and large boulders where the water lay before turning to leave my property.

The next day, after returning from town, a beautiful tree was gone, but the old dangerous tree stood. It was a big joke on his part.

In early March, some heavy farm equipment drove by and a large limb came down. In the next five days, four more limbs fell. The vibrations were so strong, this tree went from looking north to now leaning and moving. It appears to be hollow through the tree trunk. Look inside!

My little 4-year-old buddy likes to show off his new cars on my property. He started school this year and the weather has been a factor in the visits. Soon, some sunshine will show up.

Although these farmers have adequate equipment and manpower, I have been told by many throughout the years they have harbored a dangerous tree with no responsibility of preventing harm or destruction to anyone or anything.

My town lawyer didn't return my calls, nor did the farmers.

The tree does not belong to me, but the south wind is in their favor. That is if people continue to allow unfair behavior. This intended plan is warped. Unless the tree hits your garage or home, you can't collect any homeowners' insurance and you are responsible for cleanup of the tree.

That is the plan.

But they are still harboring a dangerous tree.

Any suggestions?

Ruthann Trainer,