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City removes dead tree ahead of storm; Mayor urges citizens to report tree issues

Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 18:31:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. – CBS 6 Problem Solvers investigated a dead tree Monday that had Northside neighbors concerned especially with the potential impacts of Hurricane Dorian in the area.

Joshua Earman told Problem Solvers he feared one day a dead tree, hovering above Brook Road near Whitby Road, would fall on someone.

“There have been several occasions where I’ve gone out into the road and pulled several branches from the street. One was 12 feet long,” he said.

CBS 6 took his concerns to the city and the Department of Public Works cut down the tree after our story aired. But director Bobby Vincent confirmed the tree was already on a priority list to be removed this week.

The story caught the attention of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who along with Vincent, says citizens should know crews are behind the scenes to address as many tree issues as possible.

“Since about June, I’ve had the Department of Public Works and also the Department of Public Utilities out in preparation for the storm season,” said Stoney. “They have been out pruning trees, removing trees, cleaning ditches as well. Since June, we've removed 256 trees. Annually we remove about 1200 trees. Plant 2,000, prune another 2,000 as well.

Stoney encourages citizens who have tree issues to rely on the city's RVA 311 system, where they field thousands of calls each year.

While officials say they can't guarantee a next day response/fix in every case, it's the best place for neighbors to start.

“The job for the Department of Public Works and the Department of Public Utilities, it never ends. It’s a 24-7 sort of gig,” said Stoney. “They do everything they can to get to as many requests as possible. Obviously, we can't do all of them in the same year. But if you log them, then we know where they are, we can identify them and if they are hazardous, we will do our best to get them in a timely manner.”

Vincent says in addition to the 250 plus trees they've cut down since June, they plan to remove 15 more city trees by the end of this week.

CBS 6 News is working for you. Click here to email a tip to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers. Be sure to leave us your name, phone number and detailed description of the problem. You can also leave a message by calling 804-254-3672.