11 Call for Action helps with neighborhood dispute over tree

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Workers trimmed a tree for an elderly woman who first reached out to our 11 Call for Action team.

The company 'Front Range Arborists' volunteered to help out after seeing our story a couple weeks ago.

Mary Gowens called us because her neighbor's tree was causing her problems. Some branches fell a couple weeks ago in her backyard in Colorado Springs.

The tree trimmers removed two big branches that they say were hazardous.

"We were concerned because there was a huge split from the main one that came down earlier this year and we're just here to kind of remedy that and prevent it from happening again," said Alison Holets, an arborist with Front Range Arborists.

“What we were doing today was climbing up to get a tie-in. Once we have that tie-in set, the climber goes down and starts removing the branch, usually from the top down," she explained. “We just cut it from there and rope it down to the ground safely.”

Gowens told 11 News she was glad to have the work completed.

"They fall all of a sudden," said Gowens. "We were real concerned. But this has really taken the worry off of me."

"I’m so happy I got some help," she added.

The city checked out the tree a couple weeks ago and the neighbor agreed to have it trimmed.


A local elderly woman reached out to us because her neighbor's tree is causing her problems. We made some calls and now the city is taking action. We did some digging to find out what you can do if you're dealing with a similar issue.

A tree is causing a headache for Mary Gowens. Her neighbor's tree is hanging over her backyard in Colorado Springs.

"I am very stressed," said Gowens.

"I have a lot of limbs that fall when the wind blows," she said. "The limbs are very big. I'm disabled. I walk with a walker. It's just been very hard for me."

Some branches fell a couple weeks ago.

"My sister was around the corner when they were falling. She was walking back and it about hit her," Gowens said.

She says she reached out to her neighbor to get rid of the tree.

“I’ve spoken to her about the tree and she tells me that she can’t cut the tree, she won’t cut the tree," Gowens said.

So she turned to our 11 Call for Action team. We reached out to the city, and on Friday they checked it out. Mitch Hammes, the Neighborhood Services manager for the city of Colorado Springs, talked with her about what they can do.

"This particular situation is really a civil matter between two neighbors. There's no city code or ordinance or any regulatory means that we can use to force somebody to make a change or do something different to their property," Hammes explained.

However, they can help mediate the situation. Hammes talked to the neighbor and she agreed to let crews trim the tree.

"So in this case, if everything works out right, we may be calling on some tree companies to come out and donate some time to trim out some dead branches," he said.

If you're having a dispute with your neighbor about something, here's what you can do: start by talking to your neighbor.

"What I always tell people, the very best thing to do to start is walk next door and talk to your neighbor," Hammes said. He said that usually works. If not, reach out to your homeowner's association if you have one.

"If not, the easiest thing is probably just call Neighborhood Services with the city of Colorado Springs. That way, we can take a look at the situation and direct them to the appropriate people," he said.

"Typically when Neighborhood Services gets involved, is when we're looking at something that might be a health or safety hazard," Hammes added. "We want to try to remediate it as easily and quickly as possible."

"I certainly hope that we find a solution," Gowens added.

We reached out to the neighbor, but she did not want to comment.

Click here for more information about Neighborhood Services. You can also call them at 719-444-7891.

This story first came in to our 11 Call for Action team. If you have an issue that you want our volunteers to look into, you can give them a call at 719-457-8211. Click here for more information.