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Richmond woman frustrated by neighbor’s overgrown tree

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond woman contacted the CBS 6 Problem Solvers about her neighbor's overgrown tree, that she said has created several safety issues.

Felicia Whitaker lives off Mechanicsville Turnpike. She said the limbs from her neighbor’s tree have grown so long that they droop to the ground in her back yard. Not only does it take up space, she said that in the past year she’s had to pay money to manage the mess.

She is worried about her son’s safety and she’s concerned that the power flickers on and off when it’s windy “because tree limbs are entangled in the wires.”

“I’ve had to have the roof replaced and had holes in the roof because of the branches that fall on top of my home,” Whitaker said. “Right now my back yard is unusable, it’s overgrown from neighbor's back yard.”

Whitaker said after several attempts to get her neighbor to cut the limbs, he sent a crew to do the work but they only cut limbs over his property, not hers.

Not only does the tree take up space, she said that in the past year she’s had to pay money to manage the mess.

The homeowner said he has done his part and that Whitaker only asked him to remove limbs above her house, which he did and he cut another tree down.

He said Whitaker never asked him to cut the branches in her yard.

Whitaker maintains that he “doesn't have common neighborly decency.”

“Right now my back yard is unusable,” she said.

Late in the day Mr. Gallagher contacted CBS 6 and said he will now send a crew out to take care of all of these limbs that are dangling over Whitaker’s backyard.

Whitaker said after several attempts to get her neighbor to cut the limbs, he sent a crew to do the work but they only cut limbs over his property, not hers.

The city code does make the individual property owner responsible for the removal of tree limbs and debris from their property regardless of how it came to be there, city officials said.

An official told us while they would not hold Ms. Whitaker accountable for the condition of her neighbor’s tree, for example, pruning, cutting or maintaining—they would—by ordinance hold her accountable for the condition of her yard and what’s in it.

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