Detroit man says trees have damaged his property for years

Detroit man says trees have damaged his property for years

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  • Trees damaging man's property finally taken down

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    You may remember Graham Emerson who has been dealing with trees threatening and damaging his Brightmoor home for six years.But after our story aired the city said the trees would be cut down in two weeks, and it looks like that promise was kept.
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DETROIT (WJBK) - Graham Emerson has lived in Detroit's Brightmoor community for nearly 35 years but is feeling forgotten.

"It's not a community it's a disease," he says.

Emerson says five trees growing on city property next to his home on Kentfield are dangerously invading his yard.

"The fence, as you can see, is grown over with this tree. This tree is somewhat going that way and when they go down they're going to take all the wires out and shut the power off to the house," Emerson says.

For him, roots damaging his plumbing and branches threatening his power lines have been a major problem since 2008.

Former FOX 2 reporter Bill Gallagher went out to help Emerson back then but now, since the city took over the once privately-owned lot in 2011, the problems are back.

Emerson says he put blue X's on the trees in hopes officials would see them from the street,

Emerson says a big branch fell off of that large rotting tree and fell right onto his roof, but he says calls to the city that time were useless again.

"It was hanging over the front of the house. It was half dead," he says.

FOX 2's Erika Erickson asks him if the city came out then, to which he responds, "No, no, no. I had to pay to have it done. It cost me $400 to get it off the roof."

Since then, Emerson says the city's forestry department is still dodging his phones and calls not taking him serious.

"I've been calling her all winter and I'd give her a month or two or whatever and I'd call back, call back until, you know, 'Who's this again?'" Emerson says.

A few calls from FOX 2 and the city came out Wednesday afternoon to assess the damage.

The mayor's office says the city has a backlog of about five thousand dead trees waiting to be removed and they have requested $2 million in the new bankruptcy plan of adjustment go directly towards that.

But, Wednesday, scheduling removals of these trees promising to have them gone within two weeks.

"No more fooling around. As long as we can get them to clean you up some of the mess in the vacant lots and that will, maybe it'll be a community again instead of a disease," says Emerson.

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