Tree on city property falls, damaging homes

Posted at 6:44 PM, May 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-23 18:44:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --  A Richmond man whose home was damaged by a fallen red oak tree in Thursday's storms believes the city should be responsible for cleaning up and paying for the damage.

The tree stood more than 90 feet tall with a trunk more than 11 and a half feet around.

And when it came crashing down Thursday afternoon it did thousands of dollars in damage to two homes, not including the thousands of dollars it will cost to clean up and remove.

Walter Gill said he has been complaining about the tree, which was on city property, for two decades.

"Since about 1994, 95, 96... I've had issues with the City of Richmond in coming out and keeping the dead limbs cut back,"  Gill told CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil on Friday.

Gill said his main complaint was that the tree needed some limbs removed.

He admitted that the city had removed dead limbs as recently as a month ago, but said workers stopped short of doing anything more since the tree was deemed healthy.

"I mentioned the fact this tree is going to kick over pretty soon, can you do anything and they said, 'No.'"

Just a few blocks away, several limbs from another tree on city property fell into Wythe Street, crushing the back of an Acura and damaging a second car parked on the street.

Richmond Public Works' Sharon North said the city does maintain the trees and have documented Gills' concerns.

However, North said the city is not responsible for damage since policy dictates workers do not cut down healthy, viable trees.