HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) Instead of celebrating the Fourth of July with a family pool party, a Huntsville family woke up to find a tree in their backyard pool.
The family rents a home on Oster Drive in Huntsville. The tree that crashed their fence and landed in their pool was growing on the bank of a steep ditch in between their yard and the neighbor's yard.
The family called the city to come out and take care of the tree, but were shocked to find out the city says they have no responsibility for the tree.
City officials told WHNT News 19 trees that grow on easements are not always the city's responsibility. When city employees surveyed the ditch and where the tree had been growing they found the tree to not fall under their responsibility. The issue is complicated because in some cases trees are taken care by the city, but that is only if city workers cause the damage or if water erosion from the ditch caused the tree to fall. In this case the tree broke off halfway up the trunk of the tree.
The Pollard's and their landlord believe the city should take care of the tree.
WHNT News 19 tried numerous times to reach out to the current owner of the homeowner next door. City officials say it appears the tree is growing on that side of the ditch thus it may fall under the neighbor's responsibility to take care of the tree. Our calls were not returned.
Huntsville City crews say they receive calls similar to this situation weekly, and even though they wish they could help everyone who calls in when trees go down, they say there are not enough resources.
If you have a tree that appears to be growing from a city easement or right of way, fall down and cause damage you are encouraged to contact the city.
The Pollard's and their landlord plan on removing the tree on their own in the next few days.