After multiple calls and totaled car, dead tree removed from woman's yard

After multiple calls and totaled car, dead tree removed from woman's yard

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A woman with a dead tree in her front yard sparked a call to NBC12.

"It's a public safety hazard," said Richmond resident Judy Brunson.

She has lived in her home for nearly five decades.  She had no doubt that a tree out front had died.

"That one sticking out is dead, that one going towards my house is dead," Brunson said.

Her fears were realized last month when a branch fell off the tree and onto her car, totaling it. She says the day it happened it was sunny, warm and the wind wasn't even blowing. She worried about what could happen next.

"What happens if it falls on a person, on me or my 92 year old mother," Brunson said. "I've got visitors, I've got grandkids; (the) little girl across the street is only 4 years old - she and her mother walk back and forth to the school bus. I mean what could happen?"

She says she reached out to the city multiple times, but was told there was a 90-day backlog for officials who check out troubled trees. She thought one particular conversation with a city customer service rep sounded promising.

"He said someone from the Urban Forestry Department will contact you. I'm still waiting," Brunson said. "It's just frustrating. I don't care how many times I call, is something going to get done?"

That frustration prompted her to call 12 On Your Side.

Not only was fear literally looming overhead, but the tree's roots have grown up under the sidewalk causing it to buckle and crack as well. A quick repair was made there a few years ago.

NBC12 reached out to the Department of Public Works about this situation, and within hours an arborist was in contact with Brunson confirming her beliefs.

"He said that the tree was diseased and that it needed to come down, finally," Brunson said.

The very next day the tree came down.

"12 On your side was on my side got things done and expedited the process," Brunson said.

"I'm feeling relieved. It's like an elephant off my shoulders. I still wonder how long it would have taken. I appreciate channel 12 so much."

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