Neighbors ask for help with leaning 110-foot-tall spruce treet uprooted by November windstorm

Crew hired to fell uprooted tree near vacant house

DENVER - Residents in an east Denver neighborhood are rejoicing after a work crew cut down a 110-foot-tall Blue Spruce that had been leaning precariously against another tree since it was uprooted by a wind storm last  November.

"You guys were out here yesterday and today the tree is gone," a neighbor told 7NEWS reporter Lance Hernandez. "Is it a coincidence?"

Several neighbors told 7NEWS they called the city of Denver when they first noticed the tree was uprooted more than a month ago. 

"We told them that the tree was leaning at a 45 degree angle," one neighbor said. "But they didn't do anything about it."

Others have called since the city about the tilted tree near Colfax Avenue and Roslyn Street.

"On Dec. 14, I actually called 311," said Isaac Schloss. "She transferred me to the police non-emergency number. When I stated all that was going on, they then transferred me to the Fire Department non-emergency (line)."

Schloss said he felt like he was getting the runaround.

"They said that, 'The tree looks like it's not going to fall down,'" Schloss said.

But neighbors weren't so sure.  They moved their cars further down the street, worried that both the Spruce and the Catalpa tree it was leaning against could come crashing to the ground.

"It's not a matter of if the tree falls," Schloss said. "It's a matter of when."

Schloss said neighbors were told that the city would take care of the tree in 45 days.

7NEWS asked City Council President Mary Beth Susman if that was soon enough.

"I can see why neighbors would think that that tree is a danger," she said, after looking at pictures of the leaning Spruce. "So we're going to look into it right away."

Within the hour, chain saws were ripping through the leaning tree.

Denver Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Angela Casias said a forester drove out to the property early Tuesday and determined that the tree had shifted.

"We're sending a crew out there and the tree should be gone by the end of the day," Casias said.

Casias said forestry officials had been working with the owner to get the tree issue resolved.

Neighbors say the owner is an 82-year old woman who is now living in long-term assisted living.

"She's not coming back to this house," one neighbor said. "It's been empty for awhile."

A note on a front window said the house has been winterized and that the property is being managed by National Field Network, which is based in New Jersey.

The company did not return a phone call from 7NEWS.

City officials say the owner was cited twice in 2012 for failing to maintain landscaping.

"There was a violation on May 13," said city official Julius Zsako. "It was brought into compliance on May 14."

"There was another notice on Oct. 18 for unattended vegetation," Zsako said. " It was brought into compliance on Nov. 15."

He said if the owner fails to bring property into compliance, the city can have the work done and charge the homeowner.

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