Tree troubles hounding west side neighborhood

Posted at 7:40 PM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 19:40:48-04

There are tree troubles for people living in a west side neighborhood. They’ve had damage to their property and they called us for help.

“It makes me feel terrible,” said resident Tim Urban. “When I bought the house, I didn’t buy the tree. It’s not my tree.” 

Urban is frustrated with tree problems.  

“It started backing water up here at the drain,” said Urban pointing out issues in his basement. He said roots clogged it up and he’s not alone.

“The house over here, they’ve had plumbers out. Various neighbors have plumbers in and out all the time,” explained Urban.

Shirley Banzet lives a few houses away. Her tree has messed up her sidewalk again after she fixed it years ago. She said the city isn’t helping.

“They want neighborhoods to be well kept, but they don’t want to pay for it. They want you to do it,” she told us. “My biggest frustration is being accused that I will be arrested if I trim (the trees). And I’m trimming them to keep them from taking the shingles off because they rub back and forth and back and forth.”

We checked with the city about these trees and removal schedules for Cleveland. Reps told me the goal is to take down 1,200 trees this year. But the priority tree backlog alone is more than 4,800 trees across the city.

It’s not a huge surprise because we were out there last July with Urban and his wife who told us about water on the other side of their basement that time. Now, more problems are happening including cars being damaged from the trees. The Urbans and others are looking for help from Cleveland’s Urban Forestry.

“It’s a bad deal all around,” said Urban.

We’re told these trees are on the radar of Councilwoman Donna Brady who represents the Kensington area and there could be a visit from Urban Forestry out there as well.

One of Cleveland’s nicknames is the Forest City. People out there said those belong in the forest, not on their street.