A large Zelkova Tree in Philadelphia has created big problems for one distraught homeowner. Fox 29’s Bruce Gordon reported on the story of Shirley Kelly’s tree problem and even contacted the city in an attempt to remedy the issue.
Shirley Kelly’s beloved tree has beautiful branches that provide shade on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, the tree was planted between the sidewalk and the road where it was destined to quickly outgrow the narrow space. Now over 20 years later, the roots have caused the concrete to lift and buckle so badly that this homeowner can’t even use her driveway. As if that isn’t bad enough, the roots have grown into her pipes, leading to costly plumbing issues.
The biggest issues with street trees are figuring out who is responsible for fixing the problem and who’s liable if there’s an accident.
First, let’s look at who is responsible for the street tree. Many homeowners think their township or city government is responsible for problems with street trees. “Unfortunately, your city or township doesn’t always have an obligation to resolve these issues,” explains Lou Giroud, ISA Certified Arborist and Giroud President. “Just like Shirley Kelley’s Zelkova tree, simply getting local government to give you an answer can be time consuming, frustrating and in the end give you no resolution.
Another big area of concern is who’s liable if there’s an accident. Lou explains: “Street trees that lift or crack sidewalks can create a dangerous situation. If a passerby trips on your hazardous walkway, you could be held liable for their injuries.”
According to Francesca A. Iacovangelo, a Philadelphia trial lawyer with McCann & Wall, LLC Attorneys at Law, via Twitter, “(The) Homeowner should pay to have it removed then try to recover from the City. Ultimately, the homeowner is responsible for their own sidewalk and the dangers that exist on it.”
Tree removal by a reputable tree service company may be the only way to fix the problem and avoid costly liability from someone getting hurt.
Finding the Right Tree Service for the Job
Finding a good tree service company to care for your trees can be a tough decision, especially when faced with such a tricky problem as this. To help you compare companies, Giroud has put together a “How to Hire a Qualified Tree Service Checklist” that covers the issues that can make or break your experience. Use the Checklist and follow the 5 key steps below:
Much like the human body, trees are a complex biological system. An ISA Certified Arborist knows trees. He will do a root to crown inspection, zero in on health or safety problems, and give you the best solutions.
To be certified by the ISA, International Society of Arboriculture, requires several years of field experience and passing a rigorous exam on all aspects of tree care. All Giroud Arborists are ISA Certified.
You can check our credentials as well as other companies and get a wealth of information on tree care from the ISA at Trees Are Good or by calling 217-355-9411.
Ask your friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Check the reviews on sites such as Google or Angie’s List. Compare your findings with the list of ISA Certified Arborists and pick your top companies.
You can learn a lot about a company and the quality of its service from the first phone call or email. The following questions can help you to evaluate each company’s customer service.
Make the most of your meeting with the Arborist. You need to discuss more than tree care. You want to find out if the company is solid, ethical and safe.
The lowest bid may not be the best deal. Be sure to compare credentials and written specifications for the work and determine the best combination of:
All five of the these steps are boiled down into Giroud’s handy guide to help you find the tree service company that’s right for you. Download our free guide now: “How to Hire a Qualified Tree Service Checklist”
Giroud Tree & Lawn is very familiar with the all too common issue of tree roots lifting concrete. Your Giroud Arborist will carefully evaluate your tree before giving you step by step recommendations to remedy the situation. They’ll even put you in touch with a great company to fix the concrete!
Your arborist may suggest one or more of these options, depending on your situation:
“Sidewalk Trees” are not the answer. You may hear that they are slow growers and don’t get tall enough to interfere with overhead wires. Steer clear! Whether it’s between the sidewalk and the street or right next to the foundation of your house, trees are not meant to be planted in a confined space. Eventually, those roots have to go somewhere. Instead, consider planting a new tree in another location on your property. Your Giroud Arborist can help you find the best location and pick out a tree that will grow and thrive there.
Whatever tree you choose, Giroud will ensure it adds value and beauty to your property without creating problems for the future!
Inspections are always FREE! Call 215-682-7704 to schedule your appointment Today!