Weird land swap sticks Richmond woman with tree problem

Mozelle Minor called 12 On Your Side for help with this overgrown tree in Richmond (Source:...
Mozelle Minor called 12 On Your Side for help with this overgrown tree in Richmond (Source: NBC12)
Updated: May. 9, 2018 at 10:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An elderly Richmond woman is making a plea for help. 12 On Your Side got word of Mozelle Minor's situation. She's in a dispute with the city about a tree she says is overgrown and dangerous.

Minor says a dangerous and overgrown tree is on city property, but the city won't trim it to keep it from falling - because in a very strange way, the city says the tree is actually on her property.

"For 45 years, we've been trying to get somebody to get this tree down," said Minor.

Pretty easy to see why - it hangs over the street, over power lines and grew into her property, tearing up the sidewalk Minor and her late husband laid themselves decades ago.

"This was 65 years ago, the city wasn't payin' for nothin'. They said 'you put it down, we'll maintain it.'" said Minor.

Minor says the city never did maintain it. Now this sidewalk she put in herself, is - in some kooky way - the reason the city won't touch the tree.

"The big limb hangin' there, I'm afraid it's going to fall and kill somebody," she said.

The city says when the Minors put in their own sidewalk, they acquired the small strip of city land that went from the curb to their property - tree included. Minor says she can't afford do get work done on the tree, and she's floored that taking on a sidewalk for the city years ago stuck her with this problem now.

NBC12 News has been in contact with Minor's city councilor, Parker Agelasto. His office explains that the city's hands are tied here, but they recognize the seriousness of this situation.

If any contractors or community members have ideas on how to help Mozelle Minor, contact us at

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